And finally… Plans unveiled to hang skyscraper from an asteroid

AnalemmaA New York City-based design firm has floated a mind-bending plan for the erection of a skyscraper which will be suspended from an asteroid.

Dubbed Analemma, “the world’s tallest building ever” will hang in the air by cables from an asteroid repositioned into geosynchronous Earth orbit just for the purpose, NBC reports.

Analemma 2Over the course of each day, the floating skyscraper would trace a figure-eight path over our planet’s surface, according to plans posted online by Clouds Architecture Office. It would swing between the northern and southern hemispheres, returning to the same point once every 24 hours.

The speed of the tower relative to the ground would vary depending upon which part of the figure eight it was tracing, with the slowest speeds at the top and bottom of each loop, the plans say. The asteroid’s orbit would be calibrated so that the slowest part of the tower’s path would occur over New York City.

Analemma 4Clouds Architecture Office, which recently partnered with NASA to design a Martian habitat dubbed Mars Ice Home, envisions that the tower would be constructed in Dubai, site of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.

Analemma would be powered by solar panels and use recycled water. Lower floors would be set aside for business use, while sleeping quarters would be sited about two-thirds of the way up. The plans don’t say exactly how people would get on and off the building, though one illustration seem to show people parachuting from the tower to the ground.

Analemma 3Anyone venturing to Analemma’s highest reaches would be treated to extra daylight — about 45 minutes more at an elevation of 32,000 meters, according to the plans. Of course, tenants who ventured that high would need a spacesuit to go outside because of the near-vacuum and temperatures estimated to be about minus 40 Celsius.

Why on Earth would anyone want to build an off-the-Earth skyscraper? The plans spell that out:

“Harnessing the power of planetary design thinking, it taps into the desire for extreme height, seclusion and constant mobility. If the recent boom in residential towers proves that sales price per square foot rises with floor elevation, then Analemma Tower will command record prices, justifying its high cost of construction.”