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NASA Venus Mission has Flying Cities

NASA Venus Mission has Flying Cities

by Alex GoraleDecember 23, 2014

Nasa Venus Mission VenusMars may seem like the logical next step for mankind in the solar system. NASA scientists Dale Arney and Chris Jones disagree. The two work at Langley Research Center, exploring the idea of sending the NASA Venus mission to the skies over the pale silver dot’s surface.

It’s true that the surface of Venus resembles an inferno. Temperatures exceed 500 C. For a human, the surface would be like getting crushed in a trash compactor filled with magma. It turns out, however, that a mere 50 km above the surface is kind of like visiting Canada.

Albeit, a very warm Canada. At that level, the temperatures are around 75 C – just 17 degrees above the highest recorded Earth temperature. Gravity is similar to Earth, about 1/3 higher. Most important, the exposure to radiation in Venus’s atmosphere is close to what humans in Canada are used to receiving.

Mars is Harder than the NASA Venus Mission

On Mars, astronauts would be exposed to 40 times as much radiation than on Earth each day. The atmosphere on Mars is thin. So thin, that even though Mars experiences 40 times the radiation its distance from the Sun makes solar power 240 times less efficient than Venus. Chris Jones said:

Venus has value as a destination in and of itself for exploration and colonization. But it’s also complementary to current Mars plans.…There are things that you would need to do for a Mars mission, but we see a little easier path through Venus.

A trip to Mars would experience greater logistics problems. Realistically, round trips would take 2 – 3 years. That’s a lot of time to be spending in space. Propulsion systems aside that would require upwards of 3 years healthy rations per person. The NASA Venus mission would take just 440 days. Venus’ distance to Earth provides greater flexibility than Mars. With how the planets align, a Venus mission would have the first 110 days to abort and begin a trip back to Earth.

Venus orbits the Sun much faster than the Earth. Conversely, Mars orbits much slower; nearly twice that of Earth. For Venus, a year is 225 Earth days. 110 Days is also the amount of time it would take to reach Venus. Astronauts would only spend 30 days floating above Venus. The return trip will take 300 days.

Float On, Venus

Nasa Venus Mission Concept

Going to Venus is like a test run for Mars. The final phase of the NASA Venus mission is the establishment of permanent colonies. Balloon cities would establish a permanent human presence on mankind’s second planet.

These installations will be twice the size of a Boeing 747, covered in solar panels. A robotic mission would go first. Taking with it a folded blimp that will become the future space station. Humans would meet up later, docking with the station in orbit.

Venus barely rotates, years pass before days. The Greenhouse Effect is rampant, and great winds blow at 100 m/s across its surface. Day/Night cycles are tracked according to 110-hour cycles – the time it takes the winds to circle the planet. The settlements mitigate the winds impact through a combination of drifting with and working against the storms; surfing Venus.

Scientists are optimistic for the future of the NASA Venus mission. Little of the technology is currently out of reach. If Space Launch Configurations change exploration of Venus could begin as soon as 2020.

What do you think about a manned mission to Venus? Comment Below.

Images from NASA Langley Research Center.

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  • ivank2139

    How can there be a greenhouse effect if the sunlight never reaches the ground?

    • Rabinovitch

      May be the infrared radiation reaches the surface? The wavelength of IR is greater than the wavelength of the visible light…

    • davidhollenshead

      It does reach the surface of Venus, or haven’t you seen the photo’s from the Soviet Union’s Venra landers?

  • 999BTC

    oO 😀

  • Nee die ander

    Yeah wow. I hope they will succeed 🙂

  • Friedrich

    Well —- since recent discoveries indicate that the Earth is Flat and the Heavens above — a Hologram — and we are all in God’s version of the “Truman Show” — The Venus mission does not impress me……. 🙂

    • davidhollenshead


      • Friedrich

        Yep! Check it out! Look up Mark Sargent on the youtube channel! He has a set of twelve short talks “Flat Earth Clues” Kinda interesting. Watch with an open mind…….. I’m still wondering!???!!! ….. ????? 😉

        • davidhollenshead

          You are wondering if the earth is flat?
          Have you eve seen a ship sail out of view??

          • Friedrich

            Yes! I sail Tall Ships (the Pilgrim, the Spirit) — out of Dana Point, Calif. The curious thing that always bugged me since I was a young lad was this: When a ship appeared on the horizon, it is true that I would see the top first. However, when I used a spyglass, I could see the entire ship – hull and all! I wondered why because the hull should be below the curvature of the Earth. Try this when you travel and see the Mt ranges from a distance. When you use a spyglass, telescope, binoculars etc…. You see the bottom of the Mt also. I still believe in the globe Earth —– but there are anomalies.

  • Much better idea than Mars … but what about the moon? Isn’t that the best place for a first colony? Good solar power, plenty of space for underground housing, Helium-3 as a solid export product. I’m certain there are dozens of reasons the moon is a better first step, so why isn’t it talked about?

    • davidhollenshead

      The moon would involve living underground, which would involve drilling a shaft, and using a thermonuclear charge to create a cavern protected from the sun’s radiation. This is all very doable, should we be willing to amend the ban on using nuclear devices in space. And we could have very comfortable cities in the large space created, with very little effort.

  • KeepYourPlan

    Ut Oh….we sprung a leak.