The Cloud City Over Venus


Image Credit: NASA, via CC

Did we give up the Mars mission? Nope, but all eyes are on Venus now. Well, the Mars mission is still underway in parallel, but NASA has come up with a new plan. They are considering to send astronauts on Venus. The more we learn about Venus, the better it would be for the Mars mission.

Why Venus?

Venus is an inhospitable planet. The surface is almost 463 degree Celsius. Nothing can survive on this planet. So why did NASA choose this planet? Simply because it is our nearest neighbor. Here the data collected would be observed by the scientists and they will study the situations one might have to encounter on an unfriendly non-Earth planet. This expedition will prepare us more for the journey towards Mars, which was once habitable but not anymore.

How will anything survive on this scorching hot planet?

The plan is to not go to the surface of the Venus but to float a cloud city 30 miles above the surface where the conditions are more habitable.

How will the stations hang in the air and not fall by the gravitational pull of Venus?

The first mission would be a 30 day manned mission to Venus in hot air balloon like air vehicles. A way to keep the astronauts away from the Venus’s hot surface.

NASA would have to work a lot to design light air vehicles and fight a technical challenge to make this happen. The air vehicles not only have to fight the gravitational pull, but also the acid that is present in Venus’s atmosphere that can damage the solar panels of the aircraft. Nothing has been decided as yet, but if this mission takes off it would be a great achievement for humankind.

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