Conceived in the 1960s by architect Paolo Soleri, who coincidentally started the desert techno-ashram Arcosanti, an Asteromo is “an asteroid for a population of about 70,000 people. It is basically a double-skinned cylinder kept inflated by pressurization and rotation of the main axis...the weight of a person will vary from zero at the axis to a fraction of his earthly weight on the ground. He will be able to fly without the need of any power devices.” In other words, to get around this outside-inside ellipsoidal earth, you do a starting jump and then simply float away, guided perhaps by a tether system emulating the trajectories of honeybees. Here where the earth is the sky is the earth, your office might be directly above/below your home, that is, if such distinctions still exist in this spacebound utopia.
For those preferring not to fly, there will be “Dantesque promenades at different levels of physical prowess — from weak (center) to strong (periphery),” which leads us to wonder if there will be class stratification in this arcology-in-space based on gravity.
While Soleri's design involved metal-clad cylinders, a prior plan by futurologists Dandridge Cole and Donald Cox proposed using actual asteroids, fusing and sculpting them with the heat from solar mirrors to form the gigantic geodesic interior chamber “in much the same way as a glassblower shapes a small solid lump of molten glass into a large empty bottle.”
As described here, future landscape architects will knock out an asteroid out of its gravitational orbit and then “[d]rill a hole down the middle of [the] asteroid — about a kilometer (3,280 feet) in diameter — and pack the cavity with water ice. Reseal the ends with the original material and heat the mass with giant mylar-film solar mirrors. By the time the heat reaches the center, the mass will be semi-liquid and the explosively expanding steam that results when the ice at the core is heated to the same degree will inflate the molten asteroid like a balloon.”
Moreover, attendant to Asteromo is Cole's concept of the Macro-Life: “This vehicle or creature of the Macro-Life could move (with rocket propulsion), grow (given to a food source under shape of natural resources drafts from other asteroids), could answer to the stimuli through its optical sensors and electronic, to think with the brains of its human colony and its computers, and, finally, reproduce.”
So one asteroid then two then four and pretty soon Earth will have its very own Kuiper Belt of geosynchronous bioplanetoid organisms in constant mitotic cell divisions.
And in death, they'll simply drop down to Earth in a blazing, funerary meteor shower towards their cratered necropolis.
Where the earth is the sky is the earth