Colonizing Venus as an alternative plan to Mars is not entirely unreasonable
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Colonizing Venus as an alternative plan to Mars is not entirely unreasonable

For a long time, humans have had their sights set on Mars, and numerous studies have been conducted on the red planet. It is known that there was a day when the conditions were comparable to those of Earth, with great rivers of water, and that it was probably once a completely habitable planet.

The most recent Mars discoveries are numerous; ice has been discovered in the planet’s subsoils, and there are reasons to assume that it could host small microorganisms, confirming the possibility of life on Martian lands.

But Mars is a dead planet; it is a desert, its temperatures are extreme, and it is loaded with cancer-causing solar radiation. So much so that each grain of dust has the potential to become poisonous. The only possible option is to hide underground, away from all radiation and sunshine, in complete darkness.

However, Mars does not have to be the sole option for colonizing and establishing bases on another planet; in fact, Mars is a hypopsychroplanet, and it is not even among the greatest options for becoming habitable worlds. However, it is the only one in our Solar System’s habitable zone that satisfies the optimum conceivable temperature conditions. The other two are Mercury and Venus, two potentially deadly planets for humans.

Venus, on the other hand, could be a feasible alternative.

With a temperature of 463.85 ° C. Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System. Its atmospheric pressure is great enough to shatter a soda can, its entire volcanic surface is highly active, and it rains sulfuric acid to encourage hope. And he is still a possible candidate.

The key to all of this is that Venus’s problem is on its surface, not in its atmosphere. In reality, one of the reasons is that, unlike the Earth, the ground level is much below the level of the atmosphere, which determines its wild circumstances. This suggests that the atmosphere of Venus may be more hospitable to humans; in other words, you may be able to live there.

To begin with, a space suit would not be necessary except as a precaution, at most an oxygen tank and a mask to be able to breathe without problems. At the top of Venus, the atmospheric pressure and temperature are comparable to those of Earth. In addition, the atmosphere of Venus itself is already responsible for burning the vast majority of meteorites that enter its orbit, something that we cannot boast of on Mars.

Of course, and this is a crucial point to remember, Venus is closer to the Sun than Earth, and especially Mars; what happens to solar radiation as a result? The atmosphere of Venus is extremely dense, making any observation of the planet’s surface impossible; imposing cloudy conglomerates that cross its skies at fast speeds, going around the globe in only 4 days. The Venusian planet’s massive clouds are responsible for repelling and absorbing much of the solar energy, leaving it under conditions comparable to those seen on Earth.

Gravity would not be an issue either. On Mars, gravity would cause plenty of medical issues and complicate the development of children and teenagers. In contrast, Venus’s gravity is 90.4 percent of that of Earth’s.

A larger gravity well also means less deceleration in orbit is required to get there. Another advantage to consider is that Venus is closer and takes just 97 days to reach, as opposed to 7 months to reach Mars.

From Bespin to Venus

And what can we do to establish colonies on Venus? Geoffrey A. Landis, a NASA scientist, offers the sole scientifically backed alternative. His vision is for aerostatic homes based on the assumption that breathing air is a rising gas in Venus’s atmosphere. In other words, homes are suspended in the air by massive balloons, a scene worthy of the most iconic steampunk. But not insane either.

Still, if Elon Musk says he wants to establish settlements on Mars’ surface, why shouldn’t we? Let us construct floating cities on Venus, and let us make Bespin a reality. After all, it is a dream that humans have been pursuing for many years, and there are already those looking to construct a first prototype.

One of the most crucial elements is that, due to the proximity to the Sun, solar panels would be up to 40% more efficient than on Earth and 240 times more efficient than on Mars. Building floating cities with sustainability based on solar panels and nuclear reactors (the only other viable energy source) doesn’t sound as far-fetched as getting to Mars, digging in the ground and building a colony.

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Joshua Zev Levin
Joshua Zev Levin
9 months ago

Would people live in platforms suspended from balloons, or live within the balloons?

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