So don't wanna go to Venus, huh? Jul 29, 2019 19:01:16 GMT -5
Post by Radrook Admin on Jul 29, 2019 19:01:16 GMT -5
So you don't wanna go to Venus, huh?
When hypothetically considering on whether to go to Mars or to Venus, most people will readily choose Mars as the easier, and much more pleasant alternative. After all, there are so many extreme conditions on Venus, that the choice seems obvious. However, it wasn’t always that way. Before the conditions under the Venusian clouds were known, humans imagined Venus as similar to Earth, with vast oceans teeming with aquatic life, and extensive forests teaming with flora and fauna. These were often described in glowing details in sci fi novels and short stories.
Unfortunately, reality was not that kind. Venus, as it turned out, has a surface temperature of (847 F). That’s approx. four-hundred degrees hotter than the temperature used to prepare a frozen pizza, and hot enough to melt lead. The primary reason for this is the Greenhouse effect caused by its thick Carbon Dioxide clouds which trap the solar heat and radiate it back to the surface instead of permitting it to dissipate back into space. Because of this intense heat, the two spacecraft deployed by the Soviet Union didn’t last more than an hour. Neither does the night-side offer any relief since convection currents distribute the heat evenly over the entire planet.
Yet another extremely hostile aspect of the Venusian atmosphere is that it includes Sulfuric Acid. In fact, it rains sulfuric acid instead of water on Venus. Fortunately, it evaporates before reaching the surface. Nevertheless, if you are descending through such an acidic region, corrosion will take place.
As if that weren’t bad enough, Venus's Atmospheric surface pressure is 90 times greater than Earth's. Which means that being on the Venusian surface is tantamount to being 3,000 feet under water. On Earth, at sea level, atmospheric pressure is approx. 14.6959 pounds per square-inch. Multiply that by 90, and we get 1,322.631 pounds per square inch of pressure on the Venusian surface. In short, a human would be instantly crushed. Even machines are unable to deal with it. The Russian Venera 5 and Venera 6 probes, were actually crushed by high pressure while still 18 km above the surface. Venera 7 and Venera 8 lasted approx. one hour on the surface.
Any protective spacesuit must also provide the mechanical means to move against this atmospheric pressure since muscle power alone would not suffice. So a manned landing on the surface is completely out of the question. A real pity since Venus does have approx. the same gravity as Earth and is approx. the same size.
However, as it turned out, Venus does offer a location where humans can comfortably establish a colony. That place is at approx. 31 miles above the surface, and above the corrosive acidic clouds. There, in that region, air pressure and temperatures are similar to Earth’s. For example, at that elevation, the temperature ranges between (86 to 176 F), and the pressure is only one Earth atmosphere.
This has prompted NASA to consider sending floating observation stations to hover in this earth-like atmospheric environment. In fact, NASA even has plans of establishing a permanent residence there. Futuristic floating cities are envisioned. Cities that would enjoy the same shielding effect that our atmosphere provides against deadly solar and cosmic ray radiation. In other words, humans on Venus, at that elevation, would be far more comfortable and much safer than humans on Mars.