Making a model of Space City

Use an orange and some wire to make a model of Space City.

Because Space City is 35,700 km above the Earth it is helpful to have a model to understand where it is.

The Maxwell Empire Books have Space City as an important part of life and industry on Earth. The Space Elevators are also important in moving material and people between Space City and the Earth’s surface.

To watch the movie about making the model click on the image.

 spacecity mq1

You will insert straight lengths of wire, the Space Elevators, into an orange, and attach a circle of wire, the Space City, to them.

Choose an orange that has a nice spherical shape.

Because Space City is above the equator carefully draw an equator.

Space City is 2.8 diameters above the Earth.

Measure the diameter of your orange.

Calculate the distance of Space City from the surface of your orange.

e.g. If your diameter is 5cm your Space City will be 5 x 2.8 = 14cm above the surface of your orange.

You can see that Space City will be the radius of your orange plus 14cm from the middle of your orange.

That is r = 14 + 2.5 = 16.5cm

You need this radius to calculate the length of Space City for an orange with a diameter of 5cm.


Circumference = 2πr = 2 x 3.14 x 16.5 = 103.6cm

So Space City for an orange with a diameter of 5cm will be 104cm long.


Remember there are ten thousand 25km long segments in Space City; that is Space City above the Earth is 250,000km long. You cannot have a representative sample segment that is one ten thousandth of 104cm because it will be only 0.0104cm long. So your segment example will not be to scale. You could use 1cm long lengths cut from a plastic straw.

Space Elevators

You will support your Space City with Space Elevators rising from the equator at the margins of the land masses.

On your orange draw Africa, America, etc.

Your Space Elevators will be at the margins of the land over water and Space City will be at the 14cm mark for your 5cm diameter orange with the Space Elevators longer.

Insert your Space Elevators in your orange so they are vertical and mark 14cm from the surface.

Attach Space City to the Space Elevators.

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