Friday, May 4, 2007

A Floating City on Venus

Hellish Venusian surface. Courtesy NASA.gov
(Note: this is a part of The Space Colonization Series)
When space colonization is mentioned many things come to mind: Mars, the Moon, the future, terraforming, and even occasionally asteroids. One thing that rarely comes to mind, however, is Venus. And why should it? After all, Venus is Earth's sister planet from hell, registering a spicy 450 degrees C average on the surface or, in other words, hotter than Mercury. As if the temperature wasn't enough incentive to destroy any thoughts of visiting Earth's closest planetary neighbor, reaching the surface is practically impossible to do safely. Atmospheric pressure reaches 90 times that of ours on the surface or equivalent to being under 1 km of water. Venus also has a relatively slow rotation, completing one rotation every 243 earth days. Thus nights would last a very long time--not that you could see the sun during the day anyway. So, if Venus seems so obviously irrelevant to the idea of space colonization why make an article connecting the two? Well, it is Venus' hellish properties that ironically make it so appealing. The common misconception about space colonization is that colonies are built on the surface. The key to a Venusian colony is it's incredibly dense atmosphere. Remember, "...or equivalent to being under 1 km of water?" Well, things float on water; don't they...?

The Idea

The concept is actually based on a rather simple premise--buoyancy. So, we all know lower density materials rise to the top but how could this apply to Venus? Simply put, breathable gas has the equivalent lifting power on Venus as half of Helium's lifting power on Earth (about 1 kg per cubic meter). This property allows for breathable air domes to lift a colony in addition to their own weight. Tweaking the lifting power could also easily be done by storing helium or hydrogen (both extractable from the atmosphere) filled tanks. The Colonies would float at an altitude of roughly 50 km where the air pressure is equal to Earth's. At this altitude the former problems encountered with a surface colony start to disappear. The temperature chills to a much more normal range of 0-50 degrees Celsius or liquid water temperatures. This altitude also happens to sit above the thick clouds providing abundant solar energy. The clouds themselves are so reflective that pointing solar panels downward would provide almost as much energy as they would pointing upward. The solar power available above Venus' cloud top is approximately 1.9 times that of Earth's providing plenty of power for a potential colony. Ah, that sounds great, but the issue of incredibly long dark periods still looms doesn't it? Fortunately, Venus' atmospheric winds bail us out of that situation giving us a manageable 50 hour solar day and likewise, a 50 hour solar night. Increase the latitude of the 'Bubble' and everything could be packaged into an Earth-like 24 hour cycle.

Bespin from the movie Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Other than the extreme density of Venus' atmosphere providing buoyancy, it also provides many important resources necessary for food and oxygen. Carbon dioxide and Nitrogen are very abundant in the atmosphere and could easily be harvested. Hydrogen can also be extracted from condensed sulfuric acid droplets, thus providing all of the basic elements required for human survival. Industrial minerals, also very important for maintaining an outpost or colony, could be mined from the surface. The hazards of reaching the surface drastically decrease in difficulty when making the attempt from an already established floating colony (or aerostat habitat). Large cables stretching the 50 km distance or less if the city lowers altitude temporarily could lift minerals from the surface directly to the habitat. Such a large habitat would have an incredibly large heat capacitance and thus be able to withstand momentary dips into much higher temperatures. So, it is starting to become clear how a floating city on Venus could theoretically become self-sustaining. That is great, but we are still left with a legitimate question: why should we want to go to Venus?!


The Reason

Obviously research of the planet is one simple and arguably lame reason to visit. That excuse could be made for practically anything. Everyone knows scientific research would take place. The type of research possible, however, could be highly relevant to our own planet. Global warming is currently a great debate across the globe and an in-depth look into Venus' extreme example of the greenhouse effect could open up many doors to explaining our own climate. Some other topics of interest include:

Before the runaway greenhouse effect, was early Venus temperate?
Did Venus once have an ocean? If so, did it ever have life?
What causes the geological resurfacing of the planet?
What is the nature of the atmospheric superrotation?
What are the aerosol particles in the atmosphere?
What is the —snow“ on Venus mountaintops?
What is the nature of the disequilibrium chemistry in the Venusian atmosphere? Could it indicate atmopsheric life?

View rest of paper [pdf]

[NOTE: pdf file is currently down so to view a transcript of the file I have decided to host it here.]
There are many other reasons to colonize Venus. First and foremost, human survival is dependent upon our expansion and colonization of space as Stephen Hawking recently made so clear. Venus is enticing for such a proposal for the three very important reasons: location, location, location. One, it is Earth's closest neighbor (excluding the Moon). Two, the colony is located in the dense atmosphere and thus it blocks harmful solar radiation naturally--problems that would be encountered on the Moon and Mars. The third is Venus' relative position to the coveted asteroid belt. It seems counterintuitive that Venus has a prime location for reaching the asteroid belt considering it is closer to the sun than Earth and the asteroid belt is even further than Earth but astrodynamics says otherwise. Here is more from the previous [pdf] explaining the concept in further detail:

In terms of flight time, Venus is closer to the asteroid belt than either the Earth or
Mars. This is shown in figure 3. For example, the minimum-energy trajectory to the largest main-belt asteroid, Ceres, takes 0.95 yeears from Venus, and 1.05 years from Earth. In terms of flight time, the closer you are to the sun, the more accessable the asteroids are. The asteroids are not actually close to each other, and hence if a habitat is to support prospecting and mining more than one asteroid, the asteroid belt is in some ways the worst location for it. An asteroid is as likely as not to be on the opposite side of the sun, and although the Earth is further from the sun, that does not put it closer, on the average, to any given asteroid. The higher orbital velocity of Venus actually makes transfer orbits somewhat faster, as well as increasing the number of transfer opportunities (that is, decreasing the synodic period).


View rest of paper [pdf]

Clearly, Venus presents a distinct advantage concerning mining asteroids, a potential 'gold mine.'

Establishing a floating city colony also gives humans much more 'practice' with inhabiting alien worlds. Learning to become air and land dwellers could prove to be a valuable asset in the future. Venus gives us a unique opportunity in regards to this because its gravity, at.904 G's, is only slightly less than Earth's. This means that colonists would not need to make frequent trips back to Earth to avoid bone loss or any other negative side effects of low gravity environments.

OK, but there are still problems right?

Of course there are. Many obstacles face a floating colony on Venus, though not as many nor the type that most would expect. The atmosphere is filled with sulfuric acid and other corrosive particles. Ceramics or some other type of layer would be necessary to prevent corrosion. Sulfuric acid fortunately has many industrial uses and could also be harvested for use. Scooping raw materials would also require quite an engineering feet, not to mention the whole project itself being a gargantuan task. The hazards overall are similar to any ambition of colonizing a planet. One big concern would be leaks. Fortunately, since the pressure is approximately equal on the inside and out, leaks of even large proportions would be slow and manageable.

Personally, I wouldn't say that colonizing Mars or the Moon first is a better or worse idea. Clearly those two options get the most attention and seem the most viable options to many. A floating city may not be as easy or as difficult as what has been proposed but the idea deserves merit. I believe the proposal is worthy enough for deeper consideration and more research. Hopefully my spreading of this idea has sparked a few of you with your own ideas. If anyone has any questions feel free to post them and I will try my hardest to address them and find an appropriate answer.

Related Articles:

254 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 254 of 254
Anonymous said...

I do not know if it's just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering problems with your site. It appears as though some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This might be a issue with my web browser because I've had this happen previously.
Kudos

Here is my website - just click the following website

Anonymous said...

What i do not realize is if truth be told how you are now not actually a lot more well-liked than you may be right
now. You're so intelligent. You know therefore significantly when it comes to this subject, produced me in my view consider it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like men and women don't seem
to be interested except it is something to accomplish with Lady gaga!
Your personal stuffs nice. Always handle it up!


Also visit my blog post: green coffee

Anonymous said...

Hi there all, here every one is sharing these experience, thus it's nice to read this web site, and I used to visit this blog every day.

Review my page: renowned doctor reveals what works for weight loss

Anonymous said...

These bags typically timeless, chic, and also versatile.

The climate in the specific north and south east both call when considering the canvas animal shelters.
This really is definitely a different particular which i your fridge to women many times.
That's ok we all have one. http://infiweb.org/communaute/profile.php?id=7960

Anonymous said...

Stеp up coffee ԁiets, to help you to follow.
Daily eхеrcisіng is an infеction in the right paсe in the American Dietetic Asѕociatіоn, about 10 million
American ѕuffеr from lοwer back pain may not haνe
to be affected.

Mу web pаge - Http://Purecoffeegreenbean.com

Anonymous said...

It's really a cool and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

my weblog reputation management

Anonymous said...

Тhаnk you, I've just been looking for information about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I have came upon till now. But, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you certain in regards to the supply?

Here is my homepage: http://uveret.info/

Anonymous said...

I ѕаvοur, leaԁ to Ӏ found
ϳuѕt what I uѕed to be haνing a loοk fοr.
You hаve enԁеԁ my 4 dаy lengthy
hunt! God Bless yοu man. Hаvе а nice ԁaу.

Bye

mу wеb-ѕіte :: dr oz raspberry ketone diet

Anonymous said...

I do not cοmmеnt, howeνer I brοωѕeԁ ѕome of the reѕρоnѕеѕ on thіѕ page "A Floating City on Venus".
Ӏ actuallу do havе 2 quеstiоns
foг уou іf уοu dοn't mind. Is it simply me or does it seem like a few of these remarks come across like they are left by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are posting at other sites, I'd lіkе to follοw уοu.
Woulԁ you mаκe a list of the comρlete uгls of your ρublic
sitеs liκe your Facebooκ page, twіtteг feed, оr linkedіn profile?



Feеl frеe to ѕurf to my ωeb blοg; bkae.narod.ru

Anonymous said...

Thanks very intеresting blog!

Here is my page ... green coffee bean extract

Anonymous said...

Simply want to say уouг article iѕ as astоniѕhing.

The claritу іn your pοѕt iѕ
simрly cool аnd i could aѕsume yоu aге аn eхрert on this subject.
Well wіth уour permiѕsion
аllow me to grab yоuг feed to kеep
updatеd ωith fοгthcoming post.
Thanks a milliοn аnd plеаѕе continuе thе геwaгding work.


Review my ωeb sitе :: raspberry ketone diet plan

Anonymous said...

Whаt's up Dear, are you truly visiting this website regularly, if so after that you will definitely get fastidious experience.

Take a look at my webpage; raspberry ketone results

Anonymous said...

Ӏt's wonderful that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from our discussion made at this time.

Also visit my webpage - internet reputation management companies

Anonymous said...

І'll immediately snatch your rss feed as I can't in finding your email subsсrіption linκ or nеwsletter service.
Do уou've any? Kindly allow me recognise in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

Stop by my site raspberry ketone reviews walmart

Anonymous said...

If ѕome onе ԁesіres expert view on thе tοpic of blοgging
afteгwаrԁ i adνise hіm/her tο pay a visit thiѕ webѕitе, Keеρ up the fastіԁious
ωork.

Stoр by my site :: raspberry ketones dr oz recommended

Anonymous said...

Τhіѕ web sіte truly has all оf
the informаtіon Ӏ wanted abοut thіs ѕubjеct
and didn't know who to ask.

Also visit my site: raspberry ketone

Anonymous said...

Whаt's up, I desire to subscribe for this website to get hottest updates, so where can i do it please assist.

my website :: green coffee beans weight loss

Anonymous said...

hey theгe and thank you foг your іnfο – I have certainly picked up
anything new from гight here. I did hoωеver expertiѕe somе technical issues usіng this web site, since I experienсed to
reload thе web site a lοt of tіmеs
prеvious to I could get іt tо load сοrrectlу.
I hаd been wonԁеring if уour hoѕting is OK?
Νot that I'm complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my email and could look out for much more of your respective fascinating content. Ensure that you update this again very soon.

my web page green coffee extract

Anonymous said...

I'm really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it's raгe
to ѕee a nicе blog like this one nоωaԁays.


Feel free to surf to my webpage - flaωless гaѕpberrу ketone reviews [wiki.edu54.ru]

Anonymous said...

Hi to еvеrу boԁy, іt's my first pay a quick visit of this webpage; this web site contains amazing and really good information in support of visitors.

my webpage ... green coffee

Anonymous said...

Thаnκ you for the gοod wгiteup. It if truth be told ωаs once a entеrtainment
аccount it. Glanсe сomρlex to more delіvered
аgreeablе frοm you! However, how can we сommunicate?


Also viѕit my ωeb ρage ... green coffee extract side effects

Prediksi Bola said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. Prediksi Bola Agen Bola Online

Abelee said...

I was delighted to find this web site.I wanted to thank you for your time reading this wonderful! I really enjoyed every bit of it and I've marked to ensure that the blog post something new.
Streamline Refinance in ca

Abelee said...

certainly a fantastic piece of work ... It has relevant information. Thanks for posting this. Your blog is so interesting and very informative.Thanks sharing. Definitely a great piece of work Thanks for your work.
refinance no appraisal in california

Abelee said...

You will be missed.The one place where as a venue and fan I could search by what ever perimeters I chose .Good Luck with your future endeavors.
home loans in california

Abelee said...

Sometimes we are very concerned about our health, do not understand what to do. It is very easy to make better health. the use of natural vitamin supplements. Vitamins function in many metabolic reactions that occur in foods consumed in the body, control of vitamins and energy metabolism of our body.
fha mortgage in ca

Abelee said...

I have no words to appreciate this post ..... I'm really impressed with this post .... the person who created this post was a big thank you man .. for sharing with us.
current fha mortgage rates

Abelee said...

I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page!
online furniture store

Abelee said...

I can not stop reading this. And 'so fresh, so full of information, I do not know. I'm glad that people actually write the smart way to show the different sides of him.
home decor accessories

Abelee said...

I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful.
taxi service dallas

Agen Bola Online said...

Mate this is a very nice blog here. I wanted to comment & say that I enjoyed reading your posts & they are all very well written out. You make blogging look easy lol I’ll attemp to start a blog later today and I hope it’s half as good as your blog! Much success to you! Judi Bola Online

tadalis 20 mg said...

Nice Post Love Reading Its

Kamagra 100mg

generic Viagra 100mg

Judi Poker Online said...

I agree with you. This post is truly inspiring. I like your post and everything you share with us is current and very informative, I want to bookmark the page so I can return here from you that you have done a fantastic job. Texas Holdem Poker

agen ibcbet said...

its really good :) i love it

Agen ibcbet
Agen Bola
Agen Bola
Forum Judi Bola

Adult High School Diploma Online said...

It's really very complicated in this busy life to listen news on Television, so I only use world wide web for that reason, and take the hottest news.

High School Diploma Program said...

Thanks for fabulous post keep it up.

Mrs Sharon Sim said...

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) Thank you.

Print Flyers for less said...

This is an interesting line of content, very good article. Thanks for sharing this post, nice way of bring this talk to discussion. Keep up the great work !

Steve Smith said...

Such an informative blog I found: Kamagra And Its Different Forms

Steve said...

This was such a nice blog! Tadalis Soft Tabs

program essay writing said...

very well written post It's really a cool and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us

doctoral dissertation said...

exceptionally elegantly composed post It's truly a cool and accommodating snippet of data. I am happy that you imparted this accommodating information to us

Model Sandal Casual Pria yang Menjadi Tren Saat Ini said...

I’m looking towards that which you ought to share. Pleased to see you blogging once again.
Sendal Kulit yang Berkualitas dan Elegan serta Berkelas

jual sandal said...

Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.
sendal online
sandal model terbaru
jual sandal pria

Abigail Bukai said...

What's up, cool website you have got there
Sildenafil citrate

nestpillmart.net online pharmacy said...

Amazing Article. Thanks for sharing. Order Careprost online

preeti singh said...

nice

Ektarao- Our Agency is Reputed companion Agency in Chennai who provide High Profile Independent and celebrity models in Chennai


busty Chennai escorts girls

escorts in Chennai

escorts service in Chennai

call girls in Chennai

preeti singh said...

hello

Vchennaiescorts-For hiring our fully experienced Escorts and they should konw how to treat their frustrated clients

busty Chennai escorts girls

Chennai escorts girls

Chennai escorts

Chennai escort

Deepika Gosh said...

Hello we provide high profile independent Bangalore escorts.

Bangalore escorts
Bangalore escorts service
Bangalore escorts agency
Independent Bangalore escorts
Bangalore independent escorts

Deepika Gosh said...

Our Feature Escort girls coming soon in Bangalore Independent escorts.

escorts in Bangalore
escorts service in Bangalore
Bangalore escort
Bangalore call girls
call girls in Bangalore

Deepika Gosh said...

I am a attractive female for pleasurable and delight service in only on Bangalore escorts service.

vip Bangalore escorts
Busty Bangalore escorts Girls
Bangalore escorts Girls
Bangalore escorts Models
Bangalore High Profile escorts

Deepika Gosh said...

Miss Deepti Thakral hot and Cute Bangalore Call girl offer Independent low-cost Escorts Service in Bangalore.

Independent Escorts in Bangalore
Collage Girls in Bangalore escorts
Russian Escorts in Bangalore
Bangalore Female escorts

Deepika Gosh said...

Hello gentleman welcome you independent Escorts in Bangalore.

Bangalore escorts
Bangalore escorts service
Bangalore escorts agency
Independent Bangalore escorts
Bangalore independent escorts

Deepika Gosh said...

Bangalore escorts provide independent Busty escorts service in Bangalore.

escorts in Bangalore
escorts service in Bangalore
Bangalore escort
Bangalore call girls
call girls in Bangalore

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 254 of 254   Newer› Newest»