Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ABC Wednesday: "S" is for Spaceship Earth

"S" is for Spaceship Earth - the instantly recognizable "giant golf ball" that is the icon of EPCOT at Walt Disney World.  


This 18-story high geodesic sphere is a pentakis dodecahedron, with each of the 60 isosceles triangle faces divided into 16 smaller equilateral triangles (with a bit of fudging to make it rounder). Each of those 960 flat panels is sub-divided into four triangles, each of which is divided into three isosceles triangles to form each point. In theory, there are 11,520 total isosceles triangles forming 3840 points. In reality, some of those triangles are partially or fully nonexistent due to supports and doors; there are actually only 11,324 of them, with 954 partial or full flat panels.

The cladding was designed so that when it rains, no water pours off the sides onto the ground. (All water is "absorbed" through one inch gaps in the facets and is collected in a gutter system - and finally channeled into the World Showcase Lagoon.)

Construction took 26 months and 40,800 labor hours to build.

You can see more about Spaceship Earth here.

You can see more ABC Wednesday here

9 comments:

antigoni said...

Excellent post!

RuneE said...

What a job to make! Impressive.

ramblingwoods said...

That is a large ball. I've only been there once and didn't get to see this..I hope we are learning to take better care of our own spaceship earth ...

babooshka said...

Fantastic s. Really is another world.

Dragonstar said...

What an incredible feat of engineering. It looks rather like an outsize golfball from a distance. Thanks for all the information too - a well researched and presented post!
I'd also like to thank you, on behalf of the ABC team, for your participation this week.

D Herrod said...

One time we were on that & the ride broke down. We were stuck for over 30 minutes. We were just past the top and were reclining. It wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been for the stupid recording tell us to stay in the car every 5 mintues. Finally they talked to us & shut the recording off. I was even able to catch a little nap,.

Liz said...

Gosh, it's an amzing construction!

Neva said...

Great shot......

At The Beach Wweddings said...

We just visited Disney World this past week ,as always it was great !