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Ken Gettys

Semi-retired, Volunteer computer instructor at local Senior Center

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How high can we build on Earth?

The Experiential High Altitude Platform Organization (www.XHAP.org) is proposing to build Earth Tower One (ET1) which will be 20 miles high and 40 miles wide. ET1 will be a tribute to humanity, built with open source architecture, and based upon the long standing structure of pyramids and mountains!

The reasons to build ET1 are numerous:
* If built above deserts (1/5 of the Earth's surface), the base area within the open framed pyramid can be slowly transformed from desert to farm land by providing shade and by diverting moisture from upper atmosphere to the base.
* Wind turbines and solar panels can be constructed on movable platforms that rotate toward the wind or sun or away from the high winds of hurricanes and tornadoes into protective shells. This can provide power for remote areas.
* Hundreds of Weather stations, Air Quality Monitors, Weather and Aircraft Radars, Cell Towers, Ham and Public Service radio transmitters and repeaters, and Internet routers and access points can be installed within ET1.
* The high altitude platform on top of ET1 can be used to launch Solar Sails and other objects into space using Space Cannons mounted long the top of ET1.
* Telescopes built near the top of ET1 will have a clear view than surface based telescopes.
* Laser beams installed near the top of ET1 can be used to disintegrate space junk then Solar Sails can be used to sweep up the dust and bring it into the atmosphere to burn up.
* If ET1 is built off shore from major cities, it can help protect those cities from tsunamis.
* If ET1 is built in areas of tornadoes or hurricanes, ET1 can be used to create 200 mph wind streams and releasing reverse winds into the paths of tornados or hurricanes to counteract their destructive forces.
* ET1 will be the tallest pyramid on Earth and a tribute to humanity not just tombs to ancient pharaohs.

So the question is: "How high can we built on Earth" (not "Should we built tall Earth objects")?


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    Jul 25 2012: Hi Debra and thank you for your input.

    A building such as ET1 with a height of 20 miles and a 40 sq mile base would be bigger than most towns and even cities too!

    ET1 is planned to be built well away from any existing structures and probably where there are no local building codes. Such as on the middle of a dry lake, in a desert, or on an ocean. This is not to avoid building codes because ET1 would have to withstand everything natural for 1000 years or more. For example to protect from lightening strikes, the exterior supports would be insulated from the interior with lightening rods running down the edges to the ground. And an open frame structure will be less affected by high winds or flooding or tidal waves.

    Built away from populated areas; constructed, operated, and maintained by robots, ET1 will have minimum risk to human lives (and lots of benefits). Like the pyramids in Egypt and mountains, ET1 using pyramid shaped architecture, ET1 will probably stand for longer than 1000 years and as a tribute (hopefully not a mausoleum) for the human race!

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