January 13, 2020

Huge Underground Office Park in Missouri

Timothy Birdnow

Here is a really fascinating story. The world's largest undergrond business complex in a limestone mine in Missouri.

From the article:

The 55,000,000-square-foot, 1,100-acre underground storage facility is believed to be the world’s largest site of its kind. In fact, it has trademarked the phrase "World’s Largest Underground Business Complex.” It was developed by late Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt via Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development, Inc.

[...]

It was created by digging into the Bethany Falls limestone mine and is, in places, 160 feet beneath the surface.

It has a grid of 16 feet high, 40 foot wide tunnels separated by 25 foot square limestone pillars created by the room and pillar method of hard rock mining.

The complex contains almost 7 miles of illuminated, paved roads and several miles of railroad track.

This reminds me of Logans Run or THX; an underground city still alive after a nuclear holocaust.

Actually, it suggests a model for future settlements on the Moon or Mars or whatnot. We won't be able to build a habitat on the surface of any planet because, with no atmosphere (or little atmosphere) and no magnetic field there would be nothing to protect settlers from radiation from solar storms. We are going to have to learn to live underground at some point, or remain on Earth. This gives us a head start in developing the methods to do so.

And while older folks may find it disconcerting, the young who grow up in such an environment will think it perfectly normal.

And if you make the caves really big (as you can do in lower gravity on the Moon or Mars or Callisto or whatnot) you will lose the sense of being underground. In fact, you could make a habitat very Earthlike, with bluing on the ceiling to mimic blue skies, with an artificial sun, even projecting starts onto the dome at night.

Except for the air purifiers and water pumps, you could build a rural land, a pastroral paradise. It need never get really cold. Storms wouldn't be necessary, too; just gentle rains from springklers. Housing could be inside the rock walls, or you could live in a tent for all of that. Back to the Earth types could find a space habitat very appealing, because it could well be more in tune with nature than the home world.

I know; I'm a dreamer. But then, so were the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth. You have to start somewhere.

And eventually Mankind must leave this planet or be doomed to extinction like all the other species in history. The only way to avoid the dinosaur trap is to settle the rest of the solar system.

As Arthur C. Clark put it "Earth is Man's cradle, but you cannot stay in the cradle forever". 

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:06 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 488 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Time to re-read Isaac Asimov's "Caves of Steel" for inspiration?

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at January 13, 2020 12:05 PM (LVmqo)

2 The salt mines in Kansas are similar but vastly larger. They are up to 100' high, dozens of square miles in size, and there are dozens of them.

Posted by: Bill H at January 14, 2020 12:23 AM (vMiSr)

3 An, that was a great classic, Dana; if I could still see to read I'd join you in it!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at January 14, 2020 09:11 AM (Av220)

4 I'd like to see them some day, Bill; sounds amazing.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at January 14, 2020 09:11 AM (Av220)

5 No room for that on my reading list yet, Tim. I'm reading a book Jack sent us for Christmas: a biography of Hedy Lamarr, with the emphasis on her scientific accomplishments.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at January 15, 2020 10:17 AM (LVmqo)

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