NASA’s blimp and cloud city plan for Venus exploration and colonization

Where in the solar system do we have Earth-like gravity, atmospheric pressure, density and radiation protection? The place that is most like the Earth is Venus 50,000 meters.

This means that we can blimps and build cloud cities for colonization on Venus. NASA had designed a blimp mission to explore the upper atmosphere of Venus.

A lighter-than-air vehicle could carry either a host of instruments and probes, or a habitat and ascent vehicle for a crew of two astronauts to explore Venus for up to a month. Such a mission would require less time to complete than a crewed Mars mission.

A recent internal NASA study of a High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) led to the development of an evolutionary program for the exploration of Venus, with focus on the mission architecture and vehicle concept for a 30 day crewed mission into Venus’s atmosphere.

Key technical challenges for the mission include performing the aerocapture maneuvers at Venus and Earth, inserting and inflating the airship at Venus, and protecting the solar panels and structure from the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere. With advances in technology and further refinement of the concept, missions to the Venusian atmosphere can expand humanity’s future in space.

435 thoughts on “NASA’s blimp and cloud city plan for Venus exploration and colonization”

  1. New proposal for PPT slides at NASA: If you come up with the idea then you are the first human to fly on it. Want to put blimps on Venus? You just volunteered.

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  2. How does ISRU work on Venus? You can’t access the surface, you can’t mine. The air has pressure but also has trace levels of sulfuric acid. When your hab fails it fails mightily. Radiation is easy to deal with, add a layer of dirt/regolith to a lunar/martian habitat. Energy is plentiful once we admit that nuclear is the way to go.

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  3. Venus actually does have some feasibility as a colonization target, being one of the few places in the solar system where you can get the right temperature and pressure at the same time, plus low radiation, and plentiful energy.

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  4. Yes lets put a blimp in an atmosphere with traces of sulfuric acid. Lets put people in it so that they can go insane wondering when the blimp will pop and they will fall to in to the depths of literal hell.

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  5. NASA PPT Engineer: “We are going to spend untold billions exploring Venus!” NASA PPT Managment: “What are we going to look at?” NASA PPT Engineer: “We will use solar powered blimps to look at every kind of cloud imaginable.” NASA PPT Managment: “That seems dangerous. How will we land rockets on blimps?” NASA PPT Engineer: “Oh no problem we will make a blimp city that you land on.” NASA PPT Managment: “But how will you land on the blimp city?” NASA PPT Managment: “No worries we will solve it all with SLS.” NASA PPT Managment: “Hot damn you are on to something. Make some pictures, add lots of lens flare!

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  6. New proposal for PPT slides at NASA: If you come up with the idea then you are the first human to fly on it. Want to put blimps on Venus? You just volunteered.

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  7. How does ISRU work on Venus? You can’t access the surface you can’t mine.The air has pressure but also has trace levels of sulfuric acid. When your hab fails it fails mightily.Radiation is easy to deal with add a layer of dirt/regolith to a lunar/martian habitat.Energy is plentiful once we admit that nuclear is the way to go.

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  8. Venus actually does have some feasibility as a colonization target being one of the few places in the solar system where you can get the right temperature and pressure at the same time plus low radiation and plentiful energy.

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  9. Yes lets put a blimp in an atmosphere with traces of sulfuric acid. Lets put people in it so that they can go insane wondering when the blimp will pop and they will fall to in to the depths of literal hell.

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  10. NASA PPT Engineer: We are going to spend untold billions exploring Venus!””NASA PPT Managment: “”””What are we going to look at?””””NASA PPT Engineer: “”””We will use solar powered blimps to look at every kind of cloud imaginable.””””NASA PPT Managment: “”””That seems dangerous. How will we land rockets on blimps?””””NASA PPT Engineer: “”””Oh no problem we will make a blimp city that you land on.””””NASA PPT Managment: “”””But how will you land on the blimp city?””””NASA PPT Managment: “”””No worries we will solve it all with SLS.””””NASA PPT Managment: “”””Hot damn you are on to something. Make some pictures”””” add lots of lens flare!”””””””

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  11. If you need oxygen, just use electrical energy from solar panels or reactors to split CO2 into pure C and O2. Dump solid carbon onto Venus. No magic involved to get oxygen. Then collect the water vapor (~20ppm) and split off hydrogen. Make fuel from H2 and O2. Or even use the carbon and make CH4. It’s all doable.

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  12. You can access the surface in about the way we access the ocean floor: By lowering cables to remotely operated machinery. And there’s reason to believe that the temperatures are a lot lower, (Not humanly low, but low enough for long term machinery.) at the poles, thanks to a very strong polar vortex. It’s true that if you lose buoyancy, you’re in trouble. Multiple redundancy would be important. But, anyway, I didn’t say Venus was the idea colonization target, (I’m an asteroid/comet fan, myself.) I just said it was feasible.

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  13. The highest mountain on Venus is 40km below the point where atmospheric pressure and temperature are “habitable”. So the highest mountain has high temperature and pressure. Harder to work with than the Moon.

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  14. Putting a blimp probe should be the first step. We should try and find somewhere on Venus that is not 700F, maybe mountains near the poles. Large orbital sunshades could terraform Venus. 20% coverage of the dayside might do it.

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  15. More fun you need the same style of rocket to reach orbit as you need on earth. As its no oxygen you can not use air breathers, you also need full reusability for colonization. Have fun landing something like new Glen on an blimp refueling and launching it. Venus is way more of an trap than Mars. Mars after all has some good points, Venus has none. Yes you have earth gravity and radiation protection, however you have the same in an spin habitat who is well protected say 2 meter of water. Now unlike an Venus blimp this would be easy to get at as in docking port rather than orbital rocket, you can put it somewhere useful like low Earth orbit or next to an asteroid. Safer than previous space stations because more redundancy.

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  16. protecting the solar panels and structure from the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere” they could terraform the atmosphere by adding baking soda

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  17. If you need oxygen just use electrical energy from solar panels or reactors to split CO2 into pure C and O2. Dump solid carbon onto Venus. No magic involved to get oxygen. Then collect the water vapor (~20ppm) and split off hydrogen. Make fuel from H2 and O2. Or even use the carbon and make CH4. It’s all doable.

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  18. You can access the surface in about the way we access the ocean floor: By lowering cables to remotely operated machinery. And there’s reason to believe that the temperatures are a lot lower (Not humanly low but low enough for long term machinery.) at the poles thanks to a very strong polar vortex.It’s true that if you lose buoyancy you’re in trouble. Multiple redundancy would be important.But anyway I didn’t say Venus was the idea colonization target (I’m an asteroid/comet fan myself.) I just said it was feasible.

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  19. The highest mountain on Venus is 40km below the point where atmospheric pressure and temperature are habitable””.So the highest mountain has high temperature and pressure. Harder to work with than the Moon.”””

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  20. Putting a blimp probe should be the first step. We should try and find somewhere on Venus that is not 700F maybe mountains near the poles. Large orbital sunshades could terraform Venus. 20{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} coverage of the dayside might do it.

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  21. More fun you need the same style of rocket to reach orbit as you need on earth. As its no oxygen you can not use air breathers you also need full reusability for colonization. Have fun landing something like new Glen on an blimp refueling and launching it. Venus is way more of an trap than Mars. Mars after all has some good points Venus has none. Yes you have earth gravity and radiation protection however you have the same in an spin habitat who is well protected say 2 meter of water. Now unlike an Venus blimp this would be easy to get at as in docking port rather than orbital rocket you can put it somewhere useful like low Earth orbit or next to an asteroid. Safer than previous space stations because more redundancy.

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  22. protecting the solar panels and structure from the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere””they could terraform the atmosphere by adding baking soda”””

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  23. now all they need is a really long straw to suck the excess venus atmosphere into space thereby lowering the greenhouse gas effect that makes the planet un inhabitable…

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  24. Concerning (eventually) manned programs, they have enough for SLS to continue existing and that’s it. Dreaming of manned missions to Venus, which is impossibly harder than launching a manned rocket to orbit or even going to the Moon or Mars, is just that: a pipe dream. The most I think we will see this century are robotic blimps, taking pictures of clouds and maybe verifying that there aren’t microbes floating in the upper atmosphere of Venus. The robot blimps can do the job and nobody minds if they eventually fail and get crushed/fried in the atmosphere below.

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  25. A visit to the night side of Mercury would be much more interesting. It rotates very slowly. One day on Mercury is equivalent to 58 days on Earth. There could be a lot of precious metals there. The heating and cooling and such has likely refined some of this, concentrating it in deposits.

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  26. now all they need is a really long straw to suck the excess venus atmosphere into space thereby lowering the greenhouse gas effect that makes the planet un inhabitable…

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  27. Concerning (eventually) manned programs they have enough for SLS to continue existing and that’s it.Dreaming of manned missions to Venus which is impossibly harder than launching a manned rocket to orbit or even going to the Moon or Mars is just that: a pipe dream.The most I think we will see this century are robotic blimps taking pictures of clouds and maybe verifying that there aren’t microbes floating in the upper atmosphere of Venus.The robot blimps can do the job and nobody minds if they eventually fail and get crushed/fried in the atmosphere below.

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  28. A visit to the night side of Mercury would be much more interesting. It rotates very slowly. One day on Mercury is equivalent to 58 days on Earth. There could be a lot of precious metals there. The heating and cooling and such has likely refined some of this concentrating it in deposits.

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  29. Concerning (eventually) manned programs, they have enough for SLS to continue existing and that’s it. ” Yes. That is by Congressional design. NASA is nothing but a pork barrel delivery agency. Nothing more.

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  30. That’s ‘Crematoria’. Creamatoria is something you can get at Dunkin Donuts. Kyra: …there wasn’t a doctor here who could shine my eyes, not even for 20 menthol Kools. Was there anything you said that was true?

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  31. Radiation protection? Yeah but is that enough? Venus does have a weak magnetosphere and a thick atmo. But we are talking of putting these airships like 50 miles high from the surface, right? And isn’t the atmo at that height most composed of CO2?

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  32. So, why that itty bitty “atmosphere habitat”, when breathable air is a good lifting gas on Venus? Wouldn’t the lift bag and habitat be one and the same?

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  33. Actually, the temperatures on Mercury aren’t very bad around the poles; Same principle as the ice deposits in polar craters on the Moon.

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  34. Concerning (eventually) manned programs” they have enough for SLS to continue existing and that’s it. “”Yes. That is by Congressional design.NASA is nothing but a pork barrel delivery agency. Nothing more.”””

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  35. That’s ‘Crematoria’. Creamatoria is something you can get at Dunkin Donuts.Kyra: …there wasn’t a doctor here who could shine my eyes not even for 20 menthol Kools. Was there anything you said that was true?

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  36. Radiation protection? Yeah but is that enough? Venus does have a weak magnetosphere and a thick atmo. But we are talking of putting these airships like 50 miles high from the surface right?And isn’t the atmo at that height most composed of CO2?

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  37. So why that itty bitty atmosphere habitat”””” when breathable air is a good lifting gas on Venus? Wouldn’t the lift bag and habitat be one and the same?”””

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  38. Actually the temperatures on Mercury aren’t very bad around the poles; Same principle as the ice deposits in polar craters on the Moon.

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  39. Given that you STILL need sealed environments with your own breathable (and non acid) atmosphere, I’m really not seeing the advantage compared to places that are 1. Not in a big gravity well 2. Have ground you can touch without melting 3. Have water

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  40. A big solar concentrator should be able to focus sunlight onto a spot of Venus enough to ionize a lot of gas. But I’m not sure what the advantage of ionized gas is.

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  41. Very little water, too. They’ll have to bring their own. Basically, ISRU would have to do what it is supposed to do on Mars. Lot’s of CO2 in Venus’ atmo, just as on Mars. Bring along enough hydrogen (just like initially planned for a Mars ISRU) with you to get it started.

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  42. A big solar concentrator should be able to focus sunlight onto a spot of Venus enough to ionize a lot of gas. But I’m not sure what the advantage of ionized gas is.

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  43. Very little water too. They’ll have to bring their own. Basically ISRU would have to do what it is supposed to do on Mars. Lot’s of CO2 in Venus’ atmo just as on Mars. Bring along enough hydrogen (just like initially planned for a Mars ISRU) with you to get it started.

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  44. Given that you STILL need sealed environments with your own breathable (and non acid) atmosphere I’m really not seeing the advantage compared to places that are 1. Not in a big gravity well2. Have ground you can touch without melting3. Have water

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  45. It’s a pretty good carbon source: closer than Titan, much purer than carbonaceous asteroids, and much more concentrated than Mars’ atmosphere. 3.5% nitrogen and plenty of oxygen too. Hydrogen is a little scarce though.

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  46. I can see Venus as a convenient-ish source of carbon once we switch to mostly carbon-based materials. So maybe an industrial base. Colonization for its own sake is doable, but I agree with others that there are better places for that.

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  47. Sulfuric acid is handled routinely in labs and industry in much higher concentration than you’d find on Venus at 50 km. As long you use the right materials, it really isn’t much different from an oceanliner or seastead. If it leaks badly enough to sink, you’re dead either way. From suffocation, in both cases (the CO2 concentration on Venus is far higher than the acid). To give it some numbers, from wikipedia /wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus : CO2 96.5%, SO2 150 ppm, water 20 ppm. You need both water and SO2 to make sulfuric acid, so it’s going to be well under 20 ppm. You’ll barely feel it.

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  48. Actually, as Venus’ atmosphere is mostly very dense CO2, you can use breathable air as a lifting gas there. Very convenient, you could live inside the gas bag.

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  49. And for obtaining other chemical elements, build a high temperature, high pressure etc tolerating drone system that can dive down to the surface, quickly grab some rocks and fly them back up to the colony. Voilá! The pure carbon could also be made into some mighty carbon nanotubage and according nanotube fabrics, of course. Could probably even create new blimps and colony platforms from that. As the sun is twice as strong at Venus, making long-term stable hot air ballons or blimps should be easy by simply heating the blimp body.

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  50. It’s a pretty good carbon source: closer than Titan much purer than carbonaceous asteroids and much more concentrated than Mars’ atmosphere. 3.5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} nitrogen and plenty of oxygen too. Hydrogen is a little scarce though.

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  51. I can see Venus as a convenient-ish source of carbon once we switch to mostly carbon-based materials. So maybe an industrial base. Colonization for its own sake is doable but I agree with others that there are better places for that.

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  52. Sulfuric acid is handled routinely in labs and industry in much higher concentration than you’d find on Venus at 50 km. As long you use the right materials it really isn’t much different from an oceanliner or seastead. If it leaks badly enough to sink you’re dead either way. From suffocation in both cases (the CO2 concentration on Venus is far higher than the acid).To give it some numbers from wikipedia /wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus : CO2 96.5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} SO2 150 ppm water 20 ppm. You need both water and SO2 to make sulfuric acid so it’s going to be well under 20 ppm. You’ll barely feel it.

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  53. Actually as Venus’ atmosphere is mostly very dense CO2 you can use breathable air as a lifting gas there. Very convenient you could live inside the gas bag.

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  54. And for obtaining other chemical elements build a high temperature high pressure etc tolerating drone system that can dive down to the surface quickly grab some rocks and fly them back up to the colony. Voilá!The pure carbon could also be made into some mighty carbon nanotubage and according nanotube fabrics of course. Could probably even create new blimps and colony platforms from that. As the sun is twice as strong at Venus making long-term stable hot air ballons or blimps should be easy by simply heating the blimp body.”

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  55. We can barely do a space station (a few people at a time, rather than a full settlement or space colony), and now we’re talking about colonizing the most inhospitable inner planet. OK.

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  56. True. There’s of course a convenient 3.5% nitrogen in Venus’ atmosphere that’s usable as buffer gas. Man, Venus sounds already a lot better than Mars. It could even be feasible to install an exponentially surface-to-cloud colony mining operation and cover the whole 50km to 60km altitude layer with solar absorbing and heat reflecting colony structures. That should help cooling the atmosphere over the centuries. Scrêw Mars then :)) .

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  57. We can barely do a space station (a few people at a time rather than a full settlement or space colony) and now we’re talking about colonizing the most inhospitable inner planet.OK.

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  58. True. There’s of course a convenient 3.5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} nitrogen in Venus’ atmosphere that’s usable as buffer gas. Man Venus sounds already a lot better than Mars. It could even be feasible to install an exponentially surface-to-cloud colony mining operation and cover the whole 50km to 60km altitude layer with solar absorbing and heat reflecting colony structures. That should help cooling the atmosphere over the centuries. Scrêw Mars then :)) .”

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  59. The sealed environment is pretty undemanding, though. It only needs to keep out a bit of sulphuric acid at 1 bar. It can basically be a slight positive pressure tent. Nowhere near the weight or potential for critical failure of a space habitat, which could experience rapid unscheduled disassembly in case of a hull breech. The gravity well is a bit of a problem, but insurmountable. The ground is pretty irrelevant, since space habitats don’t have them, what they have is the same as what a floating habitat would have. For the water thing, you just need to separate it from the sulphur in the clouds. A well engineered rotating station is going to be superior, but vastly more expensive given the amount of shielding it would require, and the lack of solar energy it would receive compared to a floating Venusian station.

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  60. Take the sulfuric acid droplets & remove the sulfur & you have water Far to little to make seas if you cooled Venus down, but enough to supply a bunch of balloon cities if you had reason to make them.

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  61. The sealed environment is pretty undemanding though. It only needs to keep out a bit of sulphuric acid at 1 bar. It can basically be a slight positive pressure tent. Nowhere near the weight or potential for critical failure of a space habitat which could experience rapid unscheduled disassembly in case of a hull breech.The gravity well is a bit of a problem but insurmountable. The ground is pretty irrelevant since space habitats don’t have them what they have is the same as what a floating habitat would have. For the water thing you just need to separate it from the sulphur in the clouds.A well engineered rotating station is going to be superior but vastly more expensive given the amount of shielding it would require and the lack of solar energy it would receive compared to a floating Venusian station.

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  62. Take the sulfuric acid droplets & remove the sulfur & you have water Far to little to make seas if you cooled Venus down but enough to supply a bunch of balloon cities if you had reason to make them.

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  63. Don’t need to heat the blimps or arial cloud cities. Just fill them with oxygen or nitrogen. Both are lighter than CO2 so, they will float.

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  64. Don’t need to heat the blimps or arial cloud cities. Just fill them with oxygen or nitrogen. Both are lighter than CO2 so they will float.

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  65. We could easily and quickly develop and man much, much larger space stations, or colonize the Moon—if we had the funding AND the will to do so that included more than a tiny fraction of a fraction of the citizens and politicians of the world. The lack of both is what killed Apollo and subsequent plans for Lunar outposts.

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  66. That looks completely pointless; zero justifications to send humans into that sort of environment. By the time such a mission is feasible (funding, construction, launch, etc.), AR and AI will be infinitely more advanced than it is now, and could easily handle the parameters of such vehicles and science experiments by humans in orbit.

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  67. We could easily and quickly develop and man much much larger space stations or colonize the Moon—if we had the funding AND the will to do so that included more than a tiny fraction of a fraction of the citizens and politicians of the world. The lack of both is what killed Apollo and subsequent plans for Lunar outposts.

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  68. That looks completely pointless; zero justifications to send humans into that sort of environment. By the time such a mission is feasible (funding construction launch etc.) AR and AI will be infinitely more advanced than it is now and could easily handle the parameters of such vehicles and science experiments by humans in orbit.

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  69. Right, plastics that will survive exposure to mild sulfuric acid exposure are not difficult to come by. The infrastructure requirements for a square km of floating Venusian habitat are much less than for the same area of rotating space habitat. In theory you could just cover the entire planet with a plastic bubble , terraform the atmosphere above it, and have a whole habitable planet, for a relatively small expenditure per square km. The same could be done with Saturn, BTW.

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  70. An unhappy shuttle pilot could kamakazi into the center of NYC, too, and if the floating city were designed right, with worse casualties. The key is to design it so that localized failures only cause localized problems.

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  71. I think it can come to exist as some kind of artsy project in the far future. Just for proving it can be done. But definitely not with our current means and technology.

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  72. Right plastics that will survive exposure to mild sulfuric acid exposure are not difficult to come by. The infrastructure requirements for a square km of floating Venusian habitat are much less than for the same area of rotating space habitat.In theory you could just cover the entire planet with a plastic bubble terraform the atmosphere above it and have a whole habitable planet for a relatively small expenditure per square km. The same could be done with Saturn BTW.

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  73. An unhappy shuttle pilot could kamakazi into the center of NYC too and if the floating city were designed right with worse casualties. The key is to design it so that localized failures only cause localized problems.

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  74. I think it can come to exist as some kind of artsy project in the far future. Just for proving it can be done.But definitely not with our current means and technology.

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  75. No. Editing is of the devil, like hyperlinks and text features. We are to discuss matters in plain text, like a world war 2 teletype. It’s the only way to be sure.

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  76. No. Editing is of the devil like hyperlinks and text features.We are to discuss matters in plain text like a world war 2 teletype. It’s the only way to be sure.

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  77. Yes. Trace amounts. In a whole planetary atmosphere. An atmosphere several times thicker than Earth’s, it starts to add up. Admittedly, once colonization starts, they’d probably want to snag a carbonaceous asteroid or two and put it in orbit. But dropping an empty booster with a nuclear reactor and a reformer into the Venusian atmosphere to build several plastic structures with robots over a few decades would be a way to start. Why an empty booster? It will float like a balloon at some point….

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  78. What hydrocarbons?? This is Venus, not Titan. There are trace amounts of water, and even fewer other hydrogen compounds. wikipedia /wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus

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  79. Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312, a sunshade is placed to lower Venus’ temperature so that the CO2 freezes out. Makes me wonder; Which planet (Mars or Venus) would be easier to terraform?

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  80. Yes. Trace amounts. In a whole planetary atmosphere. An atmosphere several times thicker than Earth’s it starts to add up.Admittedly once colonization starts they’d probably want to snag a carbonaceous asteroid or two and put it in orbit. But dropping an empty booster with a nuclear reactor and a reformer into the Venusian atmosphere to build several plastic structures with robots over a few decades would be a way to start.Why an empty booster? It will float like a balloon at some point….

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  81. What hydrocarbons?? This is Venus not Titan. There are trace amounts of water and even fewer other hydrogen compounds. wikipedia /wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus

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  82. Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 a sunshade is placed to lower Venus’ temperature so that the CO2 freezes out. Makes me wonder; Which planet (Mars or Venus) would be easier to terraform?

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  83. The danger with that is you’d allow the surface to cool, which would cause the atmosphere below the bubble to contract. You’d still be buoyant, but there’s the mechanical stress of the contraction to think about. The upside is you could rotate the artificial surface with relatively little resistance (apart from the obviously enormous skin drag) to simulate a day/night cycle.

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  84. Yes, it adds up, but the water is so dilute that extracting it could be difficult. You’d need to process huge volumes of atmosphere to get enough water out (though it depends enough for what – do you need kilograms, or tons, or thousands of tons?). The one thing I keep forgetting about is that the hydrogen is relatively more concentrated in the sulfuric acid clouds. But it’s probably still very dilute by volume. Regardless, there a no hydrocarbons, which was my main point. Water and sulfuric acid aren’t hydrocarbons.

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  85. The danger with that is you’d allow the surface to cool which would cause the atmosphere below the bubble to contract. You’d still be buoyant but there’s the mechanical stress of the contraction to think about.The upside is you could rotate the artificial surface with relatively little resistance (apart from the obviously enormous skin drag) to simulate a day/night cycle.

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  86. Yes it adds up but the water is so dilute that extracting it could be difficult. You’d need to process huge volumes of atmosphere to get enough water out (though it depends enough for what – do you need kilograms or tons or thousands of tons?).The one thing I keep forgetting about is that the hydrogen is relatively more concentrated in the sulfuric acid clouds. But it’s probably still very dilute by volume.Regardless there a no hydrocarbons which was my main point. Water and sulfuric acid aren’t hydrocarbons.

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  87. I should add that under those circumstances holding your breath would be a mistake, unless you saw a rescue drone headed your way. A few quick breaths would purge the oxygen from your blood, and you’d be unconscious within seconds, so I’d actually advise hyperventilating. But, yeah, rescue drones. Lots of them.

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  88. That is silly. Unless you were wearing an atmosphere suit, you’d pass out from the lack of oxygen outside the habitat before you’d been falling even a minute. You’d be dead long before you ever got hot. Mind, suffocating from CO2 is fairly unpleasant, roughly comparable to drowning. But we don’t give up on ships and avoid the shore just because drowning is unpleasant.

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  89. It may be silly. Dead is dead. But, somehow, getting blown up seems somehow a smidgen less horrifying than slowly falling into a crushing atmosphere where lead is a liquid (and you also get to watch your entire family and most of your friends fall with you).

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  90. I should add that under those circumstances holding your breath would be a mistake unless you saw a rescue drone headed your way. A few quick breaths would purge the oxygen from your blood and you’d be unconscious within seconds so I’d actually advise hyperventilating.But yeah rescue drones. Lots of them.

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  91. That is silly. Unless you were wearing an atmosphere suit you’d pass out from the lack of oxygen outside the habitat before you’d been falling even a minute. You’d be dead long before you ever got hot. Mind suffocating from CO2 is fairly unpleasant roughly comparable to drowning.But we don’t give up on ships and avoid the shore just because drowning is unpleasant.

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  92. It may be silly. Dead is dead. But somehow getting blown up seems somehow a smidgen less horrifying than slowly falling into a crushing atmosphere where lead is a liquid (and you also get to watch your entire family and most of your friends fall with you).

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  93. Not looking for shorts and T-shirt temperature. Just looking for a location for a base that can be refrigerated to livable temperatures. I don’t think anyone has done a detail survey yet.

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  94. Not looking for shorts and T-shirt temperature. Just looking for a location for a base that can be refrigerated to livable temperatures. I don’t think anyone has done a detail survey yet.

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  95. I vaguely remember that someone did the calculations for how long it would take Venus to cool off if the sunlight was completely blocked, and it was still centuries. If you google “Paul Birch Terraforming Venus Quickly” he gives a range of 90 to 200 years, depending on details like what sort of turbulence develops in the atmosphere. That’s if you cut off sunlight completely. In terms of pure temperature, Mars is a lot closer to human habitable than Venus, at least at the surface.

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  96. I vaguely remember that someone did the calculations for how long it would take Venus to cool off if the sunlight was completely blocked and it was still centuries.If you google Paul Birch Terraforming Venus Quickly”” he gives a range of 90 to 200 years”” depending on details like what sort of turbulence develops in the atmosphere. That’s if you cut off sunlight completely.In terms of pure temperature Mars is a lot closer to human habitable than Venus”” at least at the surface.”””

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  97. On 2nd thought, capture by helicopter may be more similar and easier/safer than docking. Or in this case, capture by blimp. Drop launch (going back) is the easy part.

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  98. Compared to a stationary landing strip, yes. But it’s still being done routinely, and has been successfully automated in navy UAVs, AFAIK. Though as I noted elsewhere, the final approach may resemble docking more than landing, which I guess is even more difficult.

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  99. On 2nd thought capture by helicopter may be more similar and easier/safer than docking. Or in this case capture by blimp. Drop launch (going back) is the easy part.

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  100. Compared to a stationary landing strip yes. But it’s still being done routinely and has been successfully automated in navy UAVs AFAIK. Though as I noted elsewhere the final approach may resemble docking more than landing which I guess is even more difficult.

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  101. I presume people in the falling city would have air until the pressure outside blew their seals. A great segment in Halo 2, I think, where you are trying to carry out a mission on a city over a Venus like planet (or maybe it was bigger?) that is suspended on a tether from orbit. The bad guy blows the tether and you only have a limited period of time to finish your mission and escape the falling city. It’s pretty nerve-wracking.

    Reply
  102. I presume people in the falling city would have air until the pressure outside blew their seals. A great segment in Halo 2 I think where you are trying to carry out a mission on a city over a Venus like planet (or maybe it was bigger?) that is suspended on a tether from orbit. The bad guy blows the tether and you only have a limited period of time to finish your mission and escape the falling city. It’s pretty nerve-wracking.

    Reply
  103. It’s not the most inhospitable inner planet. Not at that altitude anyway. Surface, yes. And it wouldn’t have any resources to speak of, other than sunlight and what you could glean from the atmosphere. Mining for metals is likely impossible, even by robot on the mountain peaks. Actually, we can easily do a space station, and could do a lot more if we put some resources into it. NASA got 3 to 4% of the national budget while we were ramping up to go to the moon. Today it gets about 0.5% of the national budget. And of course, now we’re spending on a variety of fronts – rovers for Mars, hurricane tracking satellites, probes going to the sun, to asteroids, etc. The manned flight budget is easily 1/10 of what it was in Armstrong’s day. This is just a pie-in-the-sky (so to speak) day-dreaming. I don’t expect anything serious to come from this. The first real step should be a rotating spacecraft (to simulate gravity) in Earth orbit, under the van Allen belt, then later on move farther afield.

    Reply
  104. It’s not the most inhospitable inner planet. Not at that altitude anyway. Surface yes. And it wouldn’t have any resources to speak of other than sunlight and what you could glean from the atmosphere. Mining for metals is likely impossible even by robot on the mountain peaks.Actually we can easily do a space station and could do a lot more if we put some resources into it. NASA got 3 to 4{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the national budget while we were ramping up to go to the moon. Today it gets about 0.5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the national budget. And of course now we’re spending on a variety of fronts – rovers for Mars hurricane tracking satellites probes going to the sun to asteroids etc. The manned flight budget is easily 1/10 of what it was in Armstrong’s day.This is just a pie-in-the-sky (so to speak) day-dreaming. I don’t expect anything serious to come from this. The first real step should be a rotating spacecraft (to simulate gravity) in Earth orbit under the van Allen belt then later on move farther afield.

    Reply
  105. As long as they have *air*, it shouldn’t sink, since air is a lifting gas on Venus. For it to sink, either enough CO2 has to leak in, or enough air has to leak out for the overall density to rise above the surrounding atmospheric density. Either way, you pass out long before the structure reaches any significant depth. Also, the deeper you go, the denser the atmosphere, so even more CO2 has to leak in or air has to leak out for the structure to continue sinking.

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  106. The sunlight and what you could glean from the atmosphere are pretty significant resources though. The atmosphere has all the components of CHON, as well as sulfur. You could use that to make anything from structural materials, through chemicals, to air, water, and food. The hydrogen is very dilute though, so you may want to bring some from other sources, along with small amounts of other elements like phosphorus etc for food (unless you do things robotically and don’t need any food).

    Reply
  107. As long as they have *air* it shouldn’t sink since air is a lifting gas on Venus. For it to sink either enough CO2 has to leak in or enough air has to leak out for the overall density to rise above the surrounding atmospheric density. Either way you pass out long before the structure reaches any significant depth.Also the deeper you go the denser the atmosphere so even more CO2 has to leak in or air has to leak out for the structure to continue sinking.

    Reply
  108. The sunlight and what you could glean from the atmosphere are pretty significant resources though. The atmosphere has all the components of CHON as well as sulfur. You could use that to make anything from structural materials through chemicals to air water and food. The hydrogen is very dilute though so you may want to bring some from other sources along with small amounts of other elements like phosphorus etc for food (unless you do things robotically and don’t need any food).

    Reply
  109. As long as they have *air*, it shouldn’t sink, since air is a lifting gas on Venus. For it to sink, either enough CO2 has to leak in, or enough air has to leak out for the overall density to rise above the surrounding atmospheric density. Either way, you pass out long before the structure reaches any significant depth. Also, the deeper you go, the denser the atmosphere, so even more CO2 has to leak in or air has to leak out for the structure to continue sinking.

    Reply
  110. As long as they have *air* it shouldn’t sink since air is a lifting gas on Venus. For it to sink either enough CO2 has to leak in or enough air has to leak out for the overall density to rise above the surrounding atmospheric density. Either way you pass out long before the structure reaches any significant depth.Also the deeper you go the denser the atmosphere so even more CO2 has to leak in or air has to leak out for the structure to continue sinking.

    Reply
  111. The sunlight and what you could glean from the atmosphere are pretty significant resources though. The atmosphere has all the components of CHON, as well as sulfur. You could use that to make anything from structural materials, through chemicals, to air, water, and food. The hydrogen is very dilute though, so you may want to bring some from other sources, along with small amounts of other elements like phosphorus etc for food (unless you do things robotically and don’t need any food).

    Reply
  112. The sunlight and what you could glean from the atmosphere are pretty significant resources though. The atmosphere has all the components of CHON as well as sulfur. You could use that to make anything from structural materials through chemicals to air water and food. The hydrogen is very dilute though so you may want to bring some from other sources along with small amounts of other elements like phosphorus etc for food (unless you do things robotically and don’t need any food).

    Reply
  113. As long as they have *air*, it shouldn’t sink, since air is a lifting gas on Venus. For it to sink, either enough CO2 has to leak in, or enough air has to leak out for the overall density to rise above the surrounding atmospheric density. Either way, you pass out long before the structure reaches any significant depth.

    Also, the deeper you go, the denser the atmosphere, so even more CO2 has to leak in or air has to leak out for the structure to continue sinking.

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  114. It’s not the most inhospitable inner planet. Not at that altitude anyway. Surface, yes. And it wouldn’t have any resources to speak of, other than sunlight and what you could glean from the atmosphere. Mining for metals is likely impossible, even by robot on the mountain peaks. Actually, we can easily do a space station, and could do a lot more if we put some resources into it. NASA got 3 to 4% of the national budget while we were ramping up to go to the moon. Today it gets about 0.5% of the national budget. And of course, now we’re spending on a variety of fronts – rovers for Mars, hurricane tracking satellites, probes going to the sun, to asteroids, etc. The manned flight budget is easily 1/10 of what it was in Armstrong’s day. This is just a pie-in-the-sky (so to speak) day-dreaming. I don’t expect anything serious to come from this. The first real step should be a rotating spacecraft (to simulate gravity) in Earth orbit, under the van Allen belt, then later on move farther afield.

    Reply
  115. It’s not the most inhospitable inner planet. Not at that altitude anyway. Surface yes. And it wouldn’t have any resources to speak of other than sunlight and what you could glean from the atmosphere. Mining for metals is likely impossible even by robot on the mountain peaks.Actually we can easily do a space station and could do a lot more if we put some resources into it. NASA got 3 to 4{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the national budget while we were ramping up to go to the moon. Today it gets about 0.5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of the national budget. And of course now we’re spending on a variety of fronts – rovers for Mars hurricane tracking satellites probes going to the sun to asteroids etc. The manned flight budget is easily 1/10 of what it was in Armstrong’s day.This is just a pie-in-the-sky (so to speak) day-dreaming. I don’t expect anything serious to come from this. The first real step should be a rotating spacecraft (to simulate gravity) in Earth orbit under the van Allen belt then later on move farther afield.

    Reply
  116. The sunlight and what you could glean from the atmosphere are pretty significant resources though. The atmosphere has all the components of CHON, as well as sulfur. You could use that to make anything from structural materials, through chemicals, to air, water, and food. The hydrogen is very dilute though, so you may want to bring some from other sources, along with small amounts of other elements like phosphorus etc for food (unless you do things robotically and don’t need any food).

    Reply
  117. I presume people in the falling city would have air until the pressure outside blew their seals. A great segment in Halo 2, I think, where you are trying to carry out a mission on a city over a Venus like planet (or maybe it was bigger?) that is suspended on a tether from orbit. The bad guy blows the tether and you only have a limited period of time to finish your mission and escape the falling city. It’s pretty nerve-wracking.

    Reply
  118. I presume people in the falling city would have air until the pressure outside blew their seals. A great segment in Halo 2 I think where you are trying to carry out a mission on a city over a Venus like planet (or maybe it was bigger?) that is suspended on a tether from orbit. The bad guy blows the tether and you only have a limited period of time to finish your mission and escape the falling city. It’s pretty nerve-wracking.

    Reply
  119. It’s not the most inhospitable inner planet. Not at that altitude anyway. Surface, yes. And it wouldn’t have any resources to speak of, other than sunlight and what you could glean from the atmosphere. Mining for metals is likely impossible, even by robot on the mountain peaks.

    Actually, we can easily do a space station, and could do a lot more if we put some resources into it. NASA got 3 to 4% of the national budget while we were ramping up to go to the moon. Today it gets about 0.5% of the national budget. And of course, now we’re spending on a variety of fronts – rovers for Mars, hurricane tracking satellites, probes going to the sun, to asteroids, etc. The manned flight budget is easily 1/10 of what it was in Armstrong’s day.

    This is just a pie-in-the-sky (so to speak) day-dreaming. I don’t expect anything serious to come from this. The first real step should be a rotating spacecraft (to simulate gravity) in Earth orbit, under the van Allen belt, then later on move farther afield.

    Reply
  120. On 2nd thought, capture by helicopter may be more similar and easier/safer than docking. Or in this case, capture by blimp. Drop launch (going back) is the easy part.

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  121. On 2nd thought capture by helicopter may be more similar and easier/safer than docking. Or in this case capture by blimp. Drop launch (going back) is the easy part.

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  122. Compared to a stationary landing strip, yes. But it’s still being done routinely, and has been successfully automated in navy UAVs, AFAIK. Though as I noted elsewhere, the final approach may resemble docking more than landing, which I guess is even more difficult.

    Reply
  123. Compared to a stationary landing strip yes. But it’s still being done routinely and has been successfully automated in navy UAVs AFAIK. Though as I noted elsewhere the final approach may resemble docking more than landing which I guess is even more difficult.

    Reply
  124. I presume people in the falling city would have air until the pressure outside blew their seals.

    A great segment in Halo 2, I think, where you are trying to carry out a mission on a city over a Venus like planet (or maybe it was bigger?) that is suspended on a tether from orbit. The bad guy blows the tether and you only have a limited period of time to finish your mission and escape the falling city. It’s pretty nerve-wracking.

    Reply
  125. I vaguely remember that someone did the calculations for how long it would take Venus to cool off if the sunlight was completely blocked, and it was still centuries. If you google “Paul Birch Terraforming Venus Quickly” he gives a range of 90 to 200 years, depending on details like what sort of turbulence develops in the atmosphere. That’s if you cut off sunlight completely. In terms of pure temperature, Mars is a lot closer to human habitable than Venus, at least at the surface.

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  126. I vaguely remember that someone did the calculations for how long it would take Venus to cool off if the sunlight was completely blocked and it was still centuries.If you google Paul Birch Terraforming Venus Quickly”” he gives a range of 90 to 200 years”” depending on details like what sort of turbulence develops in the atmosphere. That’s if you cut off sunlight completely.In terms of pure temperature Mars is a lot closer to human habitable than Venus”” at least at the surface.”””

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  127. Not looking for shorts and T-shirt temperature. Just looking for a location for a base that can be refrigerated to livable temperatures. I don’t think anyone has done a detail survey yet.

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  128. Not looking for shorts and T-shirt temperature. Just looking for a location for a base that can be refrigerated to livable temperatures. I don’t think anyone has done a detail survey yet.

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  129. Compared to a stationary landing strip, yes. But it’s still being done routinely, and has been successfully automated in navy UAVs, AFAIK. Though as I noted elsewhere, the final approach may resemble docking more than landing, which I guess is even more difficult.

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  130. I should add that under those circumstances holding your breath would be a mistake, unless you saw a rescue drone headed your way. A few quick breaths would purge the oxygen from your blood, and you’d be unconscious within seconds, so I’d actually advise hyperventilating. But, yeah, rescue drones. Lots of them.

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  131. I should add that under those circumstances holding your breath would be a mistake unless you saw a rescue drone headed your way. A few quick breaths would purge the oxygen from your blood and you’d be unconscious within seconds so I’d actually advise hyperventilating.But yeah rescue drones. Lots of them.

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  132. That is silly. Unless you were wearing an atmosphere suit, you’d pass out from the lack of oxygen outside the habitat before you’d been falling even a minute. You’d be dead long before you ever got hot. Mind, suffocating from CO2 is fairly unpleasant, roughly comparable to drowning. But we don’t give up on ships and avoid the shore just because drowning is unpleasant.

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  133. That is silly. Unless you were wearing an atmosphere suit you’d pass out from the lack of oxygen outside the habitat before you’d been falling even a minute. You’d be dead long before you ever got hot. Mind suffocating from CO2 is fairly unpleasant roughly comparable to drowning.But we don’t give up on ships and avoid the shore just because drowning is unpleasant.

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  134. It may be silly. Dead is dead. But, somehow, getting blown up seems somehow a smidgen less horrifying than slowly falling into a crushing atmosphere where lead is a liquid (and you also get to watch your entire family and most of your friends fall with you).

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  135. It may be silly. Dead is dead. But somehow getting blown up seems somehow a smidgen less horrifying than slowly falling into a crushing atmosphere where lead is a liquid (and you also get to watch your entire family and most of your friends fall with you).

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  136. I vaguely remember that someone did the calculations for how long it would take Venus to cool off if the sunlight was completely blocked, and it was still centuries.

    If you google “Paul Birch Terraforming Venus Quickly” he gives a range of 90 to 200 years, depending on details like what sort of turbulence develops in the atmosphere. That’s if you cut off sunlight completely.

    In terms of pure temperature, Mars is a lot closer to human habitable than Venus, at least at the surface.

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  137. The danger with that is you’d allow the surface to cool, which would cause the atmosphere below the bubble to contract. You’d still be buoyant, but there’s the mechanical stress of the contraction to think about. The upside is you could rotate the artificial surface with relatively little resistance (apart from the obviously enormous skin drag) to simulate a day/night cycle.

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  138. The danger with that is you’d allow the surface to cool which would cause the atmosphere below the bubble to contract. You’d still be buoyant but there’s the mechanical stress of the contraction to think about.The upside is you could rotate the artificial surface with relatively little resistance (apart from the obviously enormous skin drag) to simulate a day/night cycle.

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  139. Yes, it adds up, but the water is so dilute that extracting it could be difficult. You’d need to process huge volumes of atmosphere to get enough water out (though it depends enough for what – do you need kilograms, or tons, or thousands of tons?). The one thing I keep forgetting about is that the hydrogen is relatively more concentrated in the sulfuric acid clouds. But it’s probably still very dilute by volume. Regardless, there a no hydrocarbons, which was my main point. Water and sulfuric acid aren’t hydrocarbons.

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  140. Yes it adds up but the water is so dilute that extracting it could be difficult. You’d need to process huge volumes of atmosphere to get enough water out (though it depends enough for what – do you need kilograms or tons or thousands of tons?).The one thing I keep forgetting about is that the hydrogen is relatively more concentrated in the sulfuric acid clouds. But it’s probably still very dilute by volume.Regardless there a no hydrocarbons which was my main point. Water and sulfuric acid aren’t hydrocarbons.

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  141. Not looking for shorts and T-shirt temperature. Just looking for a location for a base that can be refrigerated to livable temperatures. I don’t think anyone has done a detail survey yet.

    Reply
  142. I should add that under those circumstances holding your breath would be a mistake, unless you saw a rescue drone headed your way. A few quick breaths would purge the oxygen from your blood, and you’d be unconscious within seconds, so I’d actually advise hyperventilating.

    But, yeah, rescue drones. Lots of them.

    Reply
  143. That is silly. Unless you were wearing an atmosphere suit, you’d pass out from the lack of oxygen outside the habitat before you’d been falling even a minute. You’d be dead long before you ever got hot. Mind, suffocating from CO2 is fairly unpleasant, roughly comparable to drowning.

    But we don’t give up on ships and avoid the shore just because drowning is unpleasant.

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  144. It may be silly. Dead is dead. But, somehow, getting blown up seems somehow a smidgen less horrifying than slowly falling into a crushing atmosphere where lead is a liquid (and you also get to watch your entire family and most of your friends fall with you).

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  145. Yes. Trace amounts. In a whole planetary atmosphere. An atmosphere several times thicker than Earth’s, it starts to add up. Admittedly, once colonization starts, they’d probably want to snag a carbonaceous asteroid or two and put it in orbit. But dropping an empty booster with a nuclear reactor and a reformer into the Venusian atmosphere to build several plastic structures with robots over a few decades would be a way to start. Why an empty booster? It will float like a balloon at some point….

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  146. Yes. Trace amounts. In a whole planetary atmosphere. An atmosphere several times thicker than Earth’s it starts to add up.Admittedly once colonization starts they’d probably want to snag a carbonaceous asteroid or two and put it in orbit. But dropping an empty booster with a nuclear reactor and a reformer into the Venusian atmosphere to build several plastic structures with robots over a few decades would be a way to start.Why an empty booster? It will float like a balloon at some point….

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  147. What hydrocarbons?? This is Venus, not Titan. There are trace amounts of water, and even fewer other hydrogen compounds. wikipedia /wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus

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  148. What hydrocarbons?? This is Venus not Titan. There are trace amounts of water and even fewer other hydrogen compounds. wikipedia /wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus

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  149. Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312, a sunshade is placed to lower Venus’ temperature so that the CO2 freezes out. Makes me wonder; Which planet (Mars or Venus) would be easier to terraform?

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  150. Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 a sunshade is placed to lower Venus’ temperature so that the CO2 freezes out. Makes me wonder; Which planet (Mars or Venus) would be easier to terraform?

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  151. No. Editing is of the devil, like hyperlinks and text features. We are to discuss matters in plain text, like a world war 2 teletype. It’s the only way to be sure.

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  152. No. Editing is of the devil like hyperlinks and text features.We are to discuss matters in plain text like a world war 2 teletype. It’s the only way to be sure.

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  153. The danger with that is you’d allow the surface to cool, which would cause the atmosphere below the bubble to contract. You’d still be buoyant, but there’s the mechanical stress of the contraction to think about.

    The upside is you could rotate the artificial surface with relatively little resistance (apart from the obviously enormous skin drag) to simulate a day/night cycle.

    Reply
  154. Yes, it adds up, but the water is so dilute that extracting it could be difficult. You’d need to process huge volumes of atmosphere to get enough water out (though it depends enough for what – do you need kilograms, or tons, or thousands of tons?).

    The one thing I keep forgetting about is that the hydrogen is relatively more concentrated in the sulfuric acid clouds. But it’s probably still very dilute by volume.

    Regardless, there a no hydrocarbons, which was my main point. Water and sulfuric acid aren’t hydrocarbons.

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  155. Right, plastics that will survive exposure to mild sulfuric acid exposure are not difficult to come by. The infrastructure requirements for a square km of floating Venusian habitat are much less than for the same area of rotating space habitat. In theory you could just cover the entire planet with a plastic bubble , terraform the atmosphere above it, and have a whole habitable planet, for a relatively small expenditure per square km. The same could be done with Saturn, BTW.

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  156. Right plastics that will survive exposure to mild sulfuric acid exposure are not difficult to come by. The infrastructure requirements for a square km of floating Venusian habitat are much less than for the same area of rotating space habitat.In theory you could just cover the entire planet with a plastic bubble terraform the atmosphere above it and have a whole habitable planet for a relatively small expenditure per square km. The same could be done with Saturn BTW.

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  157. An unhappy shuttle pilot could kamakazi into the center of NYC, too, and if the floating city were designed right, with worse casualties. The key is to design it so that localized failures only cause localized problems.

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  158. An unhappy shuttle pilot could kamakazi into the center of NYC too and if the floating city were designed right with worse casualties. The key is to design it so that localized failures only cause localized problems.

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  159. I think it can come to exist as some kind of artsy project in the far future. Just for proving it can be done. But definitely not with our current means and technology.

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  160. I think it can come to exist as some kind of artsy project in the far future. Just for proving it can be done.But definitely not with our current means and technology.

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  161. We could easily and quickly develop and man much, much larger space stations, or colonize the Moon—if we had the funding AND the will to do so that included more than a tiny fraction of a fraction of the citizens and politicians of the world. The lack of both is what killed Apollo and subsequent plans for Lunar outposts.

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  162. We could easily and quickly develop and man much much larger space stations or colonize the Moon—if we had the funding AND the will to do so that included more than a tiny fraction of a fraction of the citizens and politicians of the world. The lack of both is what killed Apollo and subsequent plans for Lunar outposts.

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  163. That looks completely pointless; zero justifications to send humans into that sort of environment. By the time such a mission is feasible (funding, construction, launch, etc.), AR and AI will be infinitely more advanced than it is now, and could easily handle the parameters of such vehicles and science experiments by humans in orbit.

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  164. That looks completely pointless; zero justifications to send humans into that sort of environment. By the time such a mission is feasible (funding construction launch etc.) AR and AI will be infinitely more advanced than it is now and could easily handle the parameters of such vehicles and science experiments by humans in orbit.

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  165. Don’t need to heat the blimps or arial cloud cities. Just fill them with oxygen or nitrogen. Both are lighter than CO2 so, they will float.

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  166. Don’t need to heat the blimps or arial cloud cities. Just fill them with oxygen or nitrogen. Both are lighter than CO2 so they will float.

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  167. Until a unhappy shuttle pilot decides to go out by flying through the floating city’s very delicate main flotation chambers.

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  168. Until a unhappy shuttle pilot decides to go out by flying through the floating city’s very delicate main flotation chambers.

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  169. The sealed environment is pretty undemanding, though. It only needs to keep out a bit of sulphuric acid at 1 bar. It can basically be a slight positive pressure tent. Nowhere near the weight or potential for critical failure of a space habitat, which could experience rapid unscheduled disassembly in case of a hull breech. The gravity well is a bit of a problem, but insurmountable. The ground is pretty irrelevant, since space habitats don’t have them, what they have is the same as what a floating habitat would have. For the water thing, you just need to separate it from the sulphur in the clouds. A well engineered rotating station is going to be superior, but vastly more expensive given the amount of shielding it would require, and the lack of solar energy it would receive compared to a floating Venusian station.

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  170. The sealed environment is pretty undemanding though. It only needs to keep out a bit of sulphuric acid at 1 bar. It can basically be a slight positive pressure tent. Nowhere near the weight or potential for critical failure of a space habitat which could experience rapid unscheduled disassembly in case of a hull breech.The gravity well is a bit of a problem but insurmountable. The ground is pretty irrelevant since space habitats don’t have them what they have is the same as what a floating habitat would have. For the water thing you just need to separate it from the sulphur in the clouds.A well engineered rotating station is going to be superior but vastly more expensive given the amount of shielding it would require and the lack of solar energy it would receive compared to a floating Venusian station.

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  171. Take the sulfuric acid droplets & remove the sulfur & you have water Far to little to make seas if you cooled Venus down, but enough to supply a bunch of balloon cities if you had reason to make them.

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  172. Take the sulfuric acid droplets & remove the sulfur & you have water Far to little to make seas if you cooled Venus down but enough to supply a bunch of balloon cities if you had reason to make them.

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  173. Yes. Trace amounts. In a whole planetary atmosphere. An atmosphere several times thicker than Earth’s, it starts to add up.

    Admittedly, once colonization starts, they’d probably want to snag a carbonaceous asteroid or two and put it in orbit. But dropping an empty booster with a nuclear reactor and a reformer into the Venusian atmosphere to build several plastic structures with robots over a few decades would be a way to start.

    Why an empty booster? It will float like a balloon at some point….

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  174. We can barely do a space station (a few people at a time, rather than a full settlement or space colony), and now we’re talking about colonizing the most inhospitable inner planet. OK.

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  175. We can barely do a space station (a few people at a time rather than a full settlement or space colony) and now we’re talking about colonizing the most inhospitable inner planet.OK.

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  176. True. There’s of course a convenient 3.5% nitrogen in Venus’ atmosphere that’s usable as buffer gas. Man, Venus sounds already a lot better than Mars. It could even be feasible to install an exponentially surface-to-cloud colony mining operation and cover the whole 50km to 60km altitude layer with solar absorbing and heat reflecting colony structures. That should help cooling the atmosphere over the centuries. Scrêw Mars then :)) .

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  177. True. There’s of course a convenient 3.5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} nitrogen in Venus’ atmosphere that’s usable as buffer gas. Man Venus sounds already a lot better than Mars. It could even be feasible to install an exponentially surface-to-cloud colony mining operation and cover the whole 50km to 60km altitude layer with solar absorbing and heat reflecting colony structures. That should help cooling the atmosphere over the centuries. Scrêw Mars then :)) .”

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  178. It’s a pretty good carbon source: closer than Titan, much purer than carbonaceous asteroids, and much more concentrated than Mars’ atmosphere. 3.5% nitrogen and plenty of oxygen too. Hydrogen is a little scarce though.

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  179. It’s a pretty good carbon source: closer than Titan much purer than carbonaceous asteroids and much more concentrated than Mars’ atmosphere. 3.5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} nitrogen and plenty of oxygen too. Hydrogen is a little scarce though.

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  180. I can see Venus as a convenient-ish source of carbon once we switch to mostly carbon-based materials. So maybe an industrial base. Colonization for its own sake is doable, but I agree with others that there are better places for that.

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  181. I can see Venus as a convenient-ish source of carbon once we switch to mostly carbon-based materials. So maybe an industrial base. Colonization for its own sake is doable but I agree with others that there are better places for that.

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  182. Sulfuric acid is handled routinely in labs and industry in much higher concentration than you’d find on Venus at 50 km. As long you use the right materials, it really isn’t much different from an oceanliner or seastead. If it leaks badly enough to sink, you’re dead either way. From suffocation, in both cases (the CO2 concentration on Venus is far higher than the acid). To give it some numbers, from wikipedia /wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus : CO2 96.5%, SO2 150 ppm, water 20 ppm. You need both water and SO2 to make sulfuric acid, so it’s going to be well under 20 ppm. You’ll barely feel it.

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  183. Sulfuric acid is handled routinely in labs and industry in much higher concentration than you’d find on Venus at 50 km. As long you use the right materials it really isn’t much different from an oceanliner or seastead. If it leaks badly enough to sink you’re dead either way. From suffocation in both cases (the CO2 concentration on Venus is far higher than the acid).To give it some numbers from wikipedia /wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus : CO2 96.5{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} SO2 150 ppm water 20 ppm. You need both water and SO2 to make sulfuric acid so it’s going to be well under 20 ppm. You’ll barely feel it.

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  184. Actually, as Venus’ atmosphere is mostly very dense CO2, you can use breathable air as a lifting gas there. Very convenient, you could live inside the gas bag.

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  185. Actually as Venus’ atmosphere is mostly very dense CO2 you can use breathable air as a lifting gas there. Very convenient you could live inside the gas bag.

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  186. Right, plastics that will survive exposure to mild sulfuric acid exposure are not difficult to come by. The infrastructure requirements for a square km of floating Venusian habitat are much less than for the same area of rotating space habitat.

    In theory you could just cover the entire planet with a plastic bubble , terraform the atmosphere above it, and have a whole habitable planet, for a relatively small expenditure per square km.

    The same could be done with Saturn, BTW.

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  187. An unhappy shuttle pilot could kamakazi into the center of NYC, too, and if the floating city were designed right, with worse casualties.

    The key is to design it so that localized failures only cause localized problems.

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  188. And for obtaining other chemical elements, build a high temperature, high pressure etc tolerating drone system that can dive down to the surface, quickly grab some rocks and fly them back up to the colony. Voilá! The pure carbon could also be made into some mighty carbon nanotubage and according nanotube fabrics, of course. Could probably even create new blimps and colony platforms from that. As the sun is twice as strong at Venus, making long-term stable hot air ballons or blimps should be easy by simply heating the blimp body.

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  189. And for obtaining other chemical elements build a high temperature high pressure etc tolerating drone system that can dive down to the surface quickly grab some rocks and fly them back up to the colony. Voilá!The pure carbon could also be made into some mighty carbon nanotubage and according nanotube fabrics of course. Could probably even create new blimps and colony platforms from that. As the sun is twice as strong at Venus making long-term stable hot air ballons or blimps should be easy by simply heating the blimp body.”

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  190. We could easily and quickly develop and man much, much larger space stations, or colonize the Moon—if we had the funding AND the will to do so that included more than a tiny fraction of a fraction of the citizens and politicians of the world. The lack of both is what killed Apollo and subsequent plans for Lunar outposts.

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  191. That looks completely pointless; zero justifications to send humans into that sort of environment. By the time such a mission is feasible (funding, construction, launch, etc.), AR and AI will be infinitely more advanced than it is now, and could easily handle the parameters of such vehicles and science experiments by humans in orbit.

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  192. The sealed environment is pretty undemanding, though. It only needs to keep out a bit of sulphuric acid at 1 bar. It can basically be a slight positive pressure tent. Nowhere near the weight or potential for critical failure of a space habitat, which could experience rapid unscheduled disassembly in case of a hull breech.

    The gravity well is a bit of a problem, but insurmountable. The ground is pretty irrelevant, since space habitats don’t have them, what they have is the same as what a floating habitat would have. For the water thing, you just need to separate it from the sulphur in the clouds.

    A well engineered rotating station is going to be superior, but vastly more expensive given the amount of shielding it would require, and the lack of solar energy it would receive compared to a floating Venusian station.

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  193. Take the sulfuric acid droplets & remove the sulfur & you have water Far to little to make seas if you cooled Venus down, but enough to supply a bunch of balloon cities if you had reason to make them.

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  194. Given that you STILL need sealed environments with your own breathable (and non acid) atmosphere, I’m really not seeing the advantage compared to places that are 1. Not in a big gravity well 2. Have ground you can touch without melting 3. Have water

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  195. Given that you STILL need sealed environments with your own breathable (and non acid) atmosphere I’m really not seeing the advantage compared to places that are 1. Not in a big gravity well2. Have ground you can touch without melting3. Have water

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  196. A big solar concentrator should be able to focus sunlight onto a spot of Venus enough to ionize a lot of gas. But I’m not sure what the advantage of ionized gas is.

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  197. A big solar concentrator should be able to focus sunlight onto a spot of Venus enough to ionize a lot of gas. But I’m not sure what the advantage of ionized gas is.

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  198. We can barely do a space station (a few people at a time, rather than a full settlement or space colony), and now we’re talking about colonizing the most inhospitable inner planet.

    OK.

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  199. Very little water, too. They’ll have to bring their own. Basically, ISRU would have to do what it is supposed to do on Mars. Lot’s of CO2 in Venus’ atmo, just as on Mars. Bring along enough hydrogen (just like initially planned for a Mars ISRU) with you to get it started.

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  200. Very little water too. They’ll have to bring their own. Basically ISRU would have to do what it is supposed to do on Mars. Lot’s of CO2 in Venus’ atmo just as on Mars. Bring along enough hydrogen (just like initially planned for a Mars ISRU) with you to get it started.

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  201. Concerning (eventually) manned programs, they have enough for SLS to continue existing and that’s it. ” Yes. That is by Congressional design. NASA is nothing but a pork barrel delivery agency. Nothing more.

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  202. Concerning (eventually) manned programs” they have enough for SLS to continue existing and that’s it. “”Yes. That is by Congressional design.NASA is nothing but a pork barrel delivery agency. Nothing more.”””

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  203. That’s ‘Crematoria’. Creamatoria is something you can get at Dunkin Donuts. Kyra: …there wasn’t a doctor here who could shine my eyes, not even for 20 menthol Kools. Was there anything you said that was true?

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  204. That’s ‘Crematoria’. Creamatoria is something you can get at Dunkin Donuts.Kyra: …there wasn’t a doctor here who could shine my eyes not even for 20 menthol Kools. Was there anything you said that was true?

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  205. Radiation protection? Yeah but is that enough? Venus does have a weak magnetosphere and a thick atmo. But we are talking of putting these airships like 50 miles high from the surface, right? And isn’t the atmo at that height most composed of CO2?

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  206. Radiation protection? Yeah but is that enough? Venus does have a weak magnetosphere and a thick atmo. But we are talking of putting these airships like 50 miles high from the surface right?And isn’t the atmo at that height most composed of CO2?

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  207. So, why that itty bitty “atmosphere habitat”, when breathable air is a good lifting gas on Venus? Wouldn’t the lift bag and habitat be one and the same?

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  208. So why that itty bitty atmosphere habitat”””” when breathable air is a good lifting gas on Venus? Wouldn’t the lift bag and habitat be one and the same?”””

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  209. Actually, the temperatures on Mercury aren’t very bad around the poles; Same principle as the ice deposits in polar craters on the Moon.

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  210. Actually the temperatures on Mercury aren’t very bad around the poles; Same principle as the ice deposits in polar craters on the Moon.

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  211. True. There’s of course a convenient 3.5% nitrogen in Venus’ atmosphere that’s usable as buffer gas. Man, Venus sounds already a lot better than Mars. It could even be feasible to install an exponentially surface-to-cloud colony mining operation and cover the whole 50km to 60km altitude layer with solar absorbing and heat reflecting colony structures. That should help cooling the atmosphere over the centuries. Scrêw Mars then :)) .

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  212. It’s a pretty good carbon source: closer than Titan, much purer than carbonaceous asteroids, and much more concentrated than Mars’ atmosphere. 3.5% nitrogen and plenty of oxygen too. Hydrogen is a little scarce though.

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  213. I can see Venus as a convenient-ish source of carbon once we switch to mostly carbon-based materials. So maybe an industrial base. Colonization for its own sake is doable, but I agree with others that there are better places for that.

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  214. Sulfuric acid is handled routinely in labs and industry in much higher concentration than you’d find on Venus at 50 km. As long you use the right materials, it really isn’t much different from an oceanliner or seastead. If it leaks badly enough to sink, you’re dead either way. From suffocation, in both cases (the CO2 concentration on Venus is far higher than the acid).

    To give it some numbers, from wikipedia /wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus : CO2 96.5%, SO2 150 ppm, water 20 ppm. You need both water and SO2 to make sulfuric acid, so it’s going to be well under 20 ppm. You’ll barely feel it.

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  215. now all they need is a really long straw to suck the excess venus atmosphere into space thereby lowering the greenhouse gas effect that makes the planet un inhabitable…

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  216. now all they need is a really long straw to suck the excess venus atmosphere into space thereby lowering the greenhouse gas effect that makes the planet un inhabitable…

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  217. Quite possible that there are all sorts of goodies on Mercury. Gravity well getting away from the sun is pretty rough…

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  218. Concerning (eventually) manned programs, they have enough for SLS to continue existing and that’s it. Dreaming of manned missions to Venus, which is impossibly harder than launching a manned rocket to orbit or even going to the Moon or Mars, is just that: a pipe dream. The most I think we will see this century are robotic blimps, taking pictures of clouds and maybe verifying that there aren’t microbes floating in the upper atmosphere of Venus. The robot blimps can do the job and nobody minds if they eventually fail and get crushed/fried in the atmosphere below.

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  219. Concerning (eventually) manned programs they have enough for SLS to continue existing and that’s it.Dreaming of manned missions to Venus which is impossibly harder than launching a manned rocket to orbit or even going to the Moon or Mars is just that: a pipe dream.The most I think we will see this century are robotic blimps taking pictures of clouds and maybe verifying that there aren’t microbes floating in the upper atmosphere of Venus.The robot blimps can do the job and nobody minds if they eventually fail and get crushed/fried in the atmosphere below.

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  220. A visit to the night side of Mercury would be much more interesting. It rotates very slowly. One day on Mercury is equivalent to 58 days on Earth. There could be a lot of precious metals there. The heating and cooling and such has likely refined some of this, concentrating it in deposits.

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  221. A visit to the night side of Mercury would be much more interesting. It rotates very slowly. One day on Mercury is equivalent to 58 days on Earth. There could be a lot of precious metals there. The heating and cooling and such has likely refined some of this concentrating it in deposits.

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  222. If you need oxygen, just use electrical energy from solar panels or reactors to split CO2 into pure C and O2. Dump solid carbon onto Venus. No magic involved to get oxygen. Then collect the water vapor (~20ppm) and split off hydrogen. Make fuel from H2 and O2. Or even use the carbon and make CH4. It’s all doable.

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  223. If you need oxygen just use electrical energy from solar panels or reactors to split CO2 into pure C and O2. Dump solid carbon onto Venus. No magic involved to get oxygen. Then collect the water vapor (~20ppm) and split off hydrogen. Make fuel from H2 and O2. Or even use the carbon and make CH4. It’s all doable.

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  224. You can access the surface in about the way we access the ocean floor: By lowering cables to remotely operated machinery. And there’s reason to believe that the temperatures are a lot lower, (Not humanly low, but low enough for long term machinery.) at the poles, thanks to a very strong polar vortex. It’s true that if you lose buoyancy, you’re in trouble. Multiple redundancy would be important. But, anyway, I didn’t say Venus was the idea colonization target, (I’m an asteroid/comet fan, myself.) I just said it was feasible.

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  225. You can access the surface in about the way we access the ocean floor: By lowering cables to remotely operated machinery. And there’s reason to believe that the temperatures are a lot lower (Not humanly low but low enough for long term machinery.) at the poles thanks to a very strong polar vortex.It’s true that if you lose buoyancy you’re in trouble. Multiple redundancy would be important.But anyway I didn’t say Venus was the idea colonization target (I’m an asteroid/comet fan myself.) I just said it was feasible.

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  226. The highest mountain on Venus is 40km below the point where atmospheric pressure and temperature are “habitable”. So the highest mountain has high temperature and pressure. Harder to work with than the Moon.

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  227. The highest mountain on Venus is 40km below the point where atmospheric pressure and temperature are habitable””.So the highest mountain has high temperature and pressure. Harder to work with than the Moon.”””

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  228. Putting a blimp probe should be the first step. We should try and find somewhere on Venus that is not 700F, maybe mountains near the poles. Large orbital sunshades could terraform Venus. 20% coverage of the dayside might do it.

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  229. Putting a blimp probe should be the first step. We should try and find somewhere on Venus that is not 700F maybe mountains near the poles. Large orbital sunshades could terraform Venus. 20{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} coverage of the dayside might do it.

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  230. More fun you need the same style of rocket to reach orbit as you need on earth. As its no oxygen you can not use air breathers, you also need full reusability for colonization. Have fun landing something like new Glen on an blimp refueling and launching it. Venus is way more of an trap than Mars. Mars after all has some good points, Venus has none. Yes you have earth gravity and radiation protection, however you have the same in an spin habitat who is well protected say 2 meter of water. Now unlike an Venus blimp this would be easy to get at as in docking port rather than orbital rocket, you can put it somewhere useful like low Earth orbit or next to an asteroid. Safer than previous space stations because more redundancy.

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  231. More fun you need the same style of rocket to reach orbit as you need on earth. As its no oxygen you can not use air breathers you also need full reusability for colonization. Have fun landing something like new Glen on an blimp refueling and launching it. Venus is way more of an trap than Mars. Mars after all has some good points Venus has none. Yes you have earth gravity and radiation protection however you have the same in an spin habitat who is well protected say 2 meter of water. Now unlike an Venus blimp this would be easy to get at as in docking port rather than orbital rocket you can put it somewhere useful like low Earth orbit or next to an asteroid. Safer than previous space stations because more redundancy.

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  232. And for obtaining other chemical elements, build a high temperature, high pressure etc tolerating drone system that can dive down to the surface, quickly grab some rocks and fly them back up to the colony. Voilá!

    The pure carbon could also be made into some mighty carbon nanotubage and according nanotube fabrics, of course. Could probably even create new blimps and colony platforms from that. As the sun is twice as strong at Venus, making long-term stable hot air ballons or blimps should be easy by simply heating the blimp body.

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  233. protecting the solar panels and structure from the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere” they could terraform the atmosphere by adding baking soda

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  234. protecting the solar panels and structure from the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere””they could terraform the atmosphere by adding baking soda”””

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  235. New proposal for PPT slides at NASA: If you come up with the idea then you are the first human to fly on it. Want to put blimps on Venus? You just volunteered.

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  236. New proposal for PPT slides at NASA: If you come up with the idea then you are the first human to fly on it. Want to put blimps on Venus? You just volunteered.

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  237. How does ISRU work on Venus? You can’t access the surface, you can’t mine. The air has pressure but also has trace levels of sulfuric acid. When your hab fails it fails mightily. Radiation is easy to deal with, add a layer of dirt/regolith to a lunar/martian habitat. Energy is plentiful once we admit that nuclear is the way to go.

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  238. How does ISRU work on Venus? You can’t access the surface you can’t mine.The air has pressure but also has trace levels of sulfuric acid. When your hab fails it fails mightily.Radiation is easy to deal with add a layer of dirt/regolith to a lunar/martian habitat.Energy is plentiful once we admit that nuclear is the way to go.

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