Remember Felix Baumgartner? His leap from the edge of the Stratosphere has made him immortal. Very soon, you might be able to at least reach upto that height (or slightly less) if some humans succeed in building a tower three kilometres into the Stratosphere.
Thoth Technology, a Canadian space company, plans to build a tower around 20 times taller than the 829-metre-high Burj Khalifa in Dubai, currently the tallest building in the world.
The idea of building the tower is to cut the costs of space exploration. Spaceships launched from Stratosphere will consume less fuel besides cutting costs by one-third. They can land back on top of the tower for refueling and reflight.
The company has already been granted a US patent and a UK one for a “space elevator” that will take astronauts to the top of the tower. The elevator has been invented by Ben Quines, Thoth’s chief technology officer.
But body fluids start to boil off due to low air pressure due to “Armstrong limit” – a point at an altitude of 19 kilometers.
The elevator will, therefore, be made following a unique engineering method.
“The space elevator tower has a segmented elevator core structure, each segment being formed of at least one pneumatically pressurized cell. The pressure cells may be filled with air or another gas,” the patent states.
The elevator cars will move within the core structure. The structure would be stabilised by gyroscopic and active control machinery.
Another concern is earth’s and natural disasters. Thoth Technology told Tech Insider:
“Our estimate is that the structure center of gravity would need to be adjusted by one degree over its base in order to counter the force of a category five hurricane.”
According to CBCNews, Thoth CEO Caroline Roberts thinks the tower, which will start from the top of a five-kilometre-high mountain, could be built with 10 years at a cost of about USD 5 billion.
The company plans to unveil a 1.5-kilometre-high prototype in the next five years.
When completed, the tower can also be used for tourism purposes.
The Old Testament of The Bible tells us the story of Tower of Babel. The tower was being built by humans to reach the sky. At the time, humans spoke in one language. God saw that as a affront to his might and created confusion by introducing many languages. Communication breakdown ended the rise of the tower. Let us hope that science is able to fulfil this unfinished business.