Ken Gettys

Semi-retired, Volunteer computer instructor at local Senior Center

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EarthTower One! A 20 Mile High Pyramid will be the Tallest & Largest Robot Made Object; Containing the Highest & Biggest Telescope on Earth!

ET1 will be the result of the efforts of people around the world, build and operated by automated systems. ET1 is a Work-In-Progress, Open Source Project Sponsored by the Not-For-Profit Experimental High Altitude Platform Organization ( HELP?!

To allow for high winds, ET1 will have mostly an open frame except above the jet stream. The building of ET1 will start as a single pyramid section, 1/8th mile tall and 1/4 mile wide at the base. Four telescoping trusses will be assembled, attached to the base at the corners, pointed towards the middle, then affixed to the top of a very large and very heavy duty construction balloon. As the balloon is inflated it will raise each section to its 1/8th of a mile height. With the expanded trusses locked and the balloon deflated, the first section of ET1 will be finished! Only 1.35 million more to go to reach the 20 mile high top!

Four Space Cannons will be mounted from the top downward along the outer edges of ET1 in order to launch Solar Sails and other objects into space. On the top of ET1 will be a 360 rotating platform that will contain thousands of mirrors to project protons from sunlight at the departing Solar Sails. And located within the circle of mirrors, will be largest and highest Earth based telescope that will have a superior view being higher above the Earth's atmosphere than lower ground based telescopes.

Above the jet stream, thousands of solar panels on the outer framework will enclose the top of ET1 to prove work and storage areas and power for both ET1 and the surrounding region. Filters at the upper areas can capture minerals and water to be delivered to ground.

Below the jet stream, hundreds of wind turbines mounted on movable braces to swing out of high wind paths. There will also be hundreds of weather stations, air quality monitors, aircraft radars, radio and Internet transmitters, and even sirens and various types of strobe lights and mirrors will be used to warn birds from flying into ET1.

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    Jul 10 2012: For building the proposed Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid in Japan (2,723 feet - a little less than a half mile high and a floor base of 3.1 sq miles), they are considering using automated spider like machines which would build trusses as the "spiders" climbed upwards (for height) or sideways (for the pyramid bases).
    (see: )

    To use similar type automated spider like machines to build ET1, it would take about 1 year if 2500 of these spiders machines were used and if each were to complete just one section per day or 6 months if two per day. This schedule of course would depend upon the onsite and in-hand availability of the raw materials the spider machines would use. This would not be accounting for breakdowns and periods of high winds (i.e. with the jet stream altitudes).

    Imagine 1,000s of Solar Sails being launched from the top of ET1 carrying radios and telescopes to distant places of our solar system… building a vase array of information collectors and sending this information back to Earth!

    Dreaming a Possible Dream!
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      Jul 10 2012: They'd most likely collide with space junk and ruin the sails. It's also probably a lot cheaper to just launch telescopes into space than to build this then launch them.
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    Jul 9 2012: Krisztian: Sorry can’t follow your parental advise because when I dream at night I forget my dreams (not just senior moments) so I have to dream during the day (aka Daydreaming). And doesn’t everything useful start with using imagination (i.e. describing images)? Besides being semi-retired, I don’t have to do anything useful but to enjoy my life and doing good for others (not in that order)!
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    Jul 9 2012: Steward: The telescope and solar panels were actually afterthoughts. ET1 as an experiential high altitude platform (for Solar Sails and other object space launching) was the first thoughts. Even if ET1 was just a piece of art, it would still be a tribute to the human race and visible from many, many miles away! And if those Hubble grade telescopes were free, who provided them? Answer: taxpayers!

    The pyramid shaped Luxor Casino in Las Vegas is 30 stores/365 ft high with a 120,000 sq ft casino floor so there are pyramids of both plausible and probably profitable sizes (if the Luxor is making money off of gambling). Here is a link to other “plausible” (already built) pyramids:

    Wasn’t thinking about Ireland anyway or even around any “flora and fauna” but on deserts, dry lake beds (e.g. Great Salt Lake), middle of large lakes, oceans, or near the poles etc. Requires a little more than a 40 square mile area, of course the flatter the surface the better. Anyone have any other specific location suggestions?
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      Jul 10 2012: But the problem here is, what is the point? A better idea for space craft is to develop an in orbit construction site where we can make larger rockets. But just the sheer size of this makes it horribly expensive, a waste of raw materials.
      And yes taxpayers originally payed for them unknowingly as they were meant to be spy telescopes to snoop of Russia, but the taxpayers would gladly pay for another hubble scope, you just need to see the deep field photos and you'll realise that we need a lot more telescopes.
      And although what you've got is an idea it's just not plausible.
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        Jul 10 2012: Stewart, Someone else has proposed using Solar Sails as a means to capture space junk and bring it into the atmosphere to burn up. And Solar Sails are already being used to explore space (and getting around space junk). Don’t try anything if there are obstacles and costs?

        A cheaper way to launch Solar Sails (and other materials into space) is to build a tall platform reaching high into the sky then using a space cannon to launch from there. At a higher altitude, smaller rockets could be used… the size just needed for Solar Sails and communications satellites, not space shuttles, Hubble sized telescopes, and other manned space ships.

        And like I said before, the purposes of ET1 are many more than launching telescopes… Exactly how many more Hubble sized telescopes and other space projects are needed to search for the elusive “other life forms” and take far way pretty pictures elsewhere in the universe?

        The solar panels, wind turbines, communications devices, space launches, environmental monitoring, and as a place where ongoing scientific experiments could be conducted at various altitudes will re-pay for the costs of building and then operating ET1.
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    Jul 9 2012: Ray: Of course the support trusses would have to hold the weight of the entire Earth Tower One. Carbon Nano Tubes as a building material comes to mind but a long way from production. Possibly some other available composite material would be strong enough?

    Mountains and the pyramids of Egypt (and other places like in Las Vegas) are balanced over their center of gravity which is how they can stand for thousands, perhaps millions of years, without falling over or "liquefy the base into molten metal" (except for volcanoes).

    FYI: A pyramid 20 miles tall would have a 40 mile wide base not 160 miles. However it would be 160 levels up if each level were 1/8 mile tall.

    BTW: Dreaming big is what got humans to fly (travel and live in space too)! And crazy is jousting with wind mills not placing wind turbines on the sides of a 20 mile high Earth Tower One. [Ok, maybe since I am semi-retired, I am semi-retarded too? ]

    Of course we will have to experiment with different materials to build Earth Tower One. Ever built a Card Tower out of Playing Cards (thinking small)... easier to build than a pyramid of stone by slave labors and more worthwhile as an effort by the world community than a tomb for a pharaoh?
  • Jul 9 2012: wouldn't the gravity of the whole thing liquify the base into molten metal? even if it is dispersed it would be too great, wouldn't it also create a imbalance being so tall? seem like a silly idea. I am all for dreaming big, but dreaming this big is like saying humans are too small we must get crazy to be relevant, in the end we will have to demo this thing because it is falling apart, is there a bigger thing happening with this idea, such as an experiment in collective thinking, with no real intention to actually build a 20 mile high 160 mile wide pyramid, after all that is like the distance of Tijuana to Los Angeles,
    does that sound crazy to anyone else? or am I just thinking too small? LOL
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    Jul 9 2012: More detail about possible ET1 uses:

    The upper level, a 360 degree rotating platform, would be about 300' square and contain an array of mirrors about the size of a football field. These mirrors would be used during daylight hours to reflect sunlight towards the previously launched (just before dawn) and deployed Solar Sails. This reflected light would help push the Solar Sails faster and faster each day until the Solar Sails were outside the shadow of the Earth and able to receive a constant stream of sunlight (all 24 hours of a day). Each Solar Sail could combine with other Solar Sails or have independent missions.

    Built inside the array of mirrors would be the Earth's highest (Earth based) telescope. Used at night, when the mirrors were not active, this telescope would have a clear view from 20 miles up then the existing ground based telescopes!

    If Earth Tower One was built near forests, infrared radar could be used to detect hot spots (fires) before they got out of hand.

    The base of ET1 could be built (except for the trusses) submerged below ground level to allow wildlife to migrate freely.

    Steward: It would 1,600 square miles (40 miles wide on each side) and 160 levels of 1/8 high pyramid sections. I use levels instead of floors as floors are for people. That works out to about 1.35 million pyramid sections.

    Krisztain: Saying "stop making web pages" is like stating "get a job" instead of making art or music. If the speculated uses are worthwhile (and already described) then ET1 will be built regardless of the time and cost. If Earth Tower One is created by the people upon International waters, this pyramid shaped tower will be a tribute to the entire human race... not just a tomb to a single pharaoh or archaic souvenir governments! So you could act outside of what to you are age constraints and help with the physics (engineering, architecture, robotics etc) and perhaps even the accounting (time and costs) you desire, that would be constructive TED help.
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      Jul 9 2012: here is my constructive advise: stop daydreaming and do something useful
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      Jul 9 2012: It's a complete waste of land, resources and time all for a telescope and solar panels. Nasa already has two Hubble grade telescopes they got for FREE. You've produced an Idea but it's just not plausible in any size, from where I live in Ireland it would take up 3% of the surface area. That's a whole lot of flora and fauna you're going to kill.
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    Jul 9 2012: if say each level was 2 meters taller than the other you would have 16740 floors, if the top most floor was simply 2x2m the bottom floor would be (assuming each floor increased by 2 meters each time length wise) you'd end up with a base that covers over 400 sq miles at least, I think it may actually be many magnitudes bigger because I'm pretty sure my calculation wasn't right.
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    Jul 9 2012: if you are 13, like last time when i scolded someone for not knowing physics, then congratulations, ambition is never too much.

    however, if you are older than 20, please stop making web pages, and start doing some math instead. work out the statics of such a building, then work out the expected cost and construction time, and then create a website and speculate about the possible uses.