Monday, Dec 16 2019
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Baikal tributaries drain an area the size of Britain and France combined'
Marc Di Duca

A space age palace in the Urals?

By Kate Baklitskaya
22 September 2014

Meteorite inspires iconic new design for shopping and entertainment centre.

'I propose to build a meteorite-style building, which will be a star attraction'. Picture: Elena Markina

A lasting monument could be erected to the spectacular Chelyabinsk meteor which made an extraordinary light and sound show before striking the Urals on 15 February 2013. Intriguingly, the proposal comes from leading Russian scientist with close links to NASA, Nikolai (Nick) Gorkavyi, who comes from the city but is now US based.

He is also known in Russia as a science fiction author for children. 'I propose to build a meteorite-style building, which will be a star attraction for all the Southern Urals,' wrote Gorkavyi in his blog. 

He provides drawings of the gravity-defying palace, shaped like a meteor and constructed with the technology used for suspension bridges.

'Here people would be able to enjoy themselves and to spend time with the family,' he predicted. 'The centre will combine shops, restaurants, cinemas, a concert hall, bars, offices, a summer terrace and a park. The first such entertainment centre was built in Milan in 1877 - Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This Italian shopping mall became a world attraction'.

Meteorite inspires iconic new design for shopping and entertainment centre


Meteorite inspires iconic new design for shopping and entertainment centre


Meteorite inspires iconic new design for shopping and entertainment centre

'Chelyabinsk meteorite released more than 30 times the energy from the atom bomb that destroyed Hiroshima'. Picture: Elena Markina

Local architects argue that the daring structure, with a proposed siting on the bank of the Miass River,  would be  difficult to be build for reasons including its asymmetry and the required engineering systems. 

Its mentor is undaunted. 'The main thing is that there is a prospect of gaining the profit for the building, which increases the interest of private investors', said Gorkavyi.

After the 18 metre wide meteor exploded 23 kilometres over Chelyabinsk, it released more than 30 times the energy from the atom bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Gorkavyi led a NASA team from the Goddard Space Flight Centre which monitored the resulting dust belt in the Earth's stratosphere.

'We wanted to know if our satellite could detect the meteor dust,' he said. 'Indeed, we saw the formation of a new dust belt in Earth's stratosphere, and achieved the first space-based observation of the long-term evolution of a bolide plume.'

The team used a NASA satellite for their tracking work which was published in a major scientific journal. 

'The Chelyabinsk bolide is much smaller than the 'dinosaurs killer' (the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs) and this is good: We have the unique opportunity to safely study a potentially very dangerous type of event,' he said.

Gorkavyi is listed as director of the Greenwich Institute of Science and Technology,  and Lead Programmer for Science Systems and Applications Inc. He published a monograph and more than 100 scientific papers but in Russia is also known for his science books for children. He formerly studied at the Chelyabinsk State University. 

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR69.94USD62.77GBP84.00Other...