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Colonizing Venus - A Researched Article (I know, boring right?)

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Level 33 : Artisan Network
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-Author's Notes
Watch NASA's concept video included at the end of the blog for a better idea of the content this blog discusses.

We're writing several space-themed blogs that we're hoping to release every week, give or take a few days (notice "hoping". chances are, this isn't going to end up happening). So from this day forward, I'm dubbing Fridays on PMC "Space Fridays", in complete conformation to the cliche practice of claiming some day of the week as your own for the purpose of uploading some similar weekly content, AND in absolute flat out disregard of every other person who already does a weekly thing on Fridays, even though it would probably make more sense to do this on Saturday or Sunday for the sake of the name buuuuut...yeah...moving on...

This Friday brings you a blog about a topic not widely talked about: the colonization of other planets.

"But Space, we hear about people wanting to colonize Mars all the time-" STOP
This blog is not about Mars. That comes later. This particular piece of writing discusses the possibility, as well as a few pros and cons of attempting a colonization mission to none other than VENUS. (yeah. bet you didn't expect that one even though the entire thing was in the title and that's probably why you clicked on this to begin with so really everything up to this point has been pointless)

...

ONTO ZE CONTENT



-Why we would want to colonize other celestial bodies

To further secure our race's survival. If some cataclysmic event occurs on a single planet (Earth in our case [No, Pluto. What did you think]) and the species is contained entirely on that one planet (humans on Earth), then the species would most likely be wiped out entirely. If we existed on multiple worlds, such an event would only affect the species on that planet.

But that's the reason everyone gives so screw that, we should just do it because such an accomplishment would just be frikin awesome. Yes this is definitely the best reason.


-What it would take to colonize Venus

--Main Argument

The colonization of Venus is, in a sense, much easier than one might think, as long as the definition of colonize is given a bit of lenience. Colonization of the unterraformed surface of Venus is practically impossible, as the average surface temperature for the planet is around 467-480 degrees Celsius or 864-900 degrees Fahrenheit. Then there's the fact that its rain is composed almost entirely of sulfuric acid. (Source) So in short, any attempts to colonize the surface of Venus in its current state would be nothing short of suicide and failure.

However, NASA scientists have tossed around the idea of, and come up with a surprisingly feasible concept for colonizing the air of Venus. This would take the form of balloon supported floating sky cities that lie above Venus's clouds (Source). Settling above the clouds would take care of most of the corrosive rain issues, as well as the temperature issues. The thick cover of clouds is the insulation that prevents heat from easily escaping the surface and lower atmosphere. Outside of this barrier, the temperature is significantly cooler. In fact, an altitude of about 50 kilometers above Venus's surface (or ~31 miles) is reportedly the most Earth-like environment in the solar system, outside of Earth itself, with average Mediterranean-like temperatures ranging from 0-50 degrees Celsius (32-122 degrees Fahrenheit) and a very Earth-like atmospheric pressure (Source). The environment is so hospitable that humans would be able to survive on occasion in the open air with nothing but a breathing aide device.

"...the problem with Venus is merely that the ground level is too far below the one atmosphere level. At cloud-top level, Venus is the paradise planet."
-Geoffrey Landis, NASA Scientist

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Several other issues of this concept at first glance are actually solved rather easily. An example would be how Venus rotates extremely slowly. In fact, a single day on Venus's surface is equivalent to 243 Earth days (Source). However, winds in Venus's upper atmosphere are fast enough to completely circle the planet once every 4-5 Earth days (Source). Allowing floating structures to travel along with the wind would be ideal in two ways: it would cut down on the stress of long periods of perpetual day or night, and it would be much easier on the overall structure if it was able to travel with the winds rather than stand against them.

Another issue you might be expecting is the dangers of punctures or tears in the blimps and balloons keeping the structures afloat. Contrary to what you might expect, this would most likely not cause the structure to immediately sink towards the surface (I bet you were hoping for something like a balloon popping and hurtling towards the ground). The balloons would ideally contain a mix of breathable gasses like Oxygen and Nitrogen, gasses which are less dense than those outside the balloons at the planned height, causing the balloons to be able to remain high in the atmosphere even when supporting heavy colony structures. But while these gasses do float upward in the open air, the pressure within the balloons would ideally be the same as the pressure outside the balloons. Because of this, tears in the balloons would cause gas to diffuse at an easily manageable rate. Basically, there would be plenty of time for tears to be patched before the structure the balloon was supporting sank a significant distance. (Source)


--Positives

The colonization of Venus has several significant advantages over the colonization of Mars.

For one thing, Venus is much closer to Earth than Mars is and launch windows occur much more often as well. This allows transportation between Earth and Venus to be much shorter, much more common, less resource-intensive, and overall easier.

Venus's gravity is also a massive upside, in that it is almost completely identical to Earth's. At the moment, it is not known how well humans would be able to live long-term in Mars's gravity (0.38 times that of Earth's). Even if we are able to survive long-term in Mars's gravity, it is theorized that long-term periods on Mars would weaken the human body to the point that it would not be able to withstand Earth's gravity again, should someone attempt to travel back to Earth. Basically, most trips to Mars may end up being one-way, even when ignoring the difficulties of travelling back from the surface of Mars to Earth. With Venus, this issue would be nonexistent. (Source)


--Issues

Unlike Mars and Earth, colonists would have to import ALL new materials from off-planet, including water for drinking and farming, materials for repairs, materials for building new colonies, etc. as access to the surface to harvest such materials would not be possible.


-Why am I talking about this

Just to have a little bit of Minecraft-related content in this blog, we are planning on building and releasing a Venus-themed map in the future either sometime this winter or early 2016 depending on how quickly we release our other maps (2 more 10K x 10K maps are getting close to completion). This map will likely contain floating sky cities similar to those NASA conceived. When we release that, we'll be able to direct confused people to this blog for an explanation of the floating cities.


-Choose a team ( :P )
-Choose a team ( :P )

Now before you think "oh hey screw Mars lez all focus on Venus now", wait for our blog on Mars to be released before you make a final decision on which you'd rather see colonized first (The team you choose will mean nothing. Nobody's going to listen to your opinion anyway ಠ_ಠ). Regardless, here are two images of a terraformed Venus and Mars. You may post these to your about sections or elsewhere if you feel like showing your support for one or the other :P (yes I realize I'm taking this way too far and most of you probably won't do this...heck most of you probably won't even read this far)

Venus vs Mars
Terraformed Venus
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Terraformed Mars
undefined


-NASA's concept video for colonizing Venus
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  • CraftyFoxe
  • Site Moderator
  • Level 72
  • Legendary Fox
  • July 15, 2016, 4:27 pm
Why would we want to live in Venus? There'd be nothing for it except perhaps tourism and scientists.
  • Space
  • Level 33
  • Artisan Network
  • July 15, 2016, 10:10 pm
Because cloud city. That should be sufficient reasoning.
  • CraftyFoxe
  • Site Moderator
  • Level 72
  • Legendary Fox
  • July 15, 2016, 10:21 pm
Yea but in cloud city, they had reason to be there because of gas mining, which would be economical to build a city there.
  • TWD_Fan
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Blacksmith
  • August 15, 2015, 1:11 pm
I don't see how this is possible, Although Venus is the second planet in our solar system, it is the hottest, due to greenhouse gas's and its thick atmosphere. Everytime we have sent a probe or satellite to or towards that planet, they have melted thousands of miles before even reaching to the planet. Nothing on our planet (I Don't Think) is strong enough or cold enough or however you want to put it to witstand the tempuratures of the suns heat let alone the sun itself, Mars I coul see us (Humans) Colinizing sense it is within the goldilocks zone of our solar system (The habitle zone were life can exist, not to hot, not to cold). 

Although I'm 14, I have been studying and having an interest in space and astroligy, please respond with any questions you may have.
Please tell me you meant the science of "astronomy" and not the bull of "astrology."
  • TWD_Fan
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Blacksmith
  • August 16, 2015, 10:54 am
yes it was astronomy, my mistake
  • Space
  • Level 33
  • Artisan Network
  • August 15, 2015, 8:22 pm
lul someone commented without reading the article.
lez talk once you've read the thing rather than assuming you know what I say in this ;P



also this part is incorrect:
Everytime we have sent a probe or satellite to or towards that
planet, they have melted thousands of miles before even reaching to the
planet.

We've landed a good number of probes on Venus. Each lasted a total of 23 minutes to around 2 hours after landing before melting (of course the later probes were the ones that lasted longer).
  • TWD_Fan
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Blacksmith
  • August 16, 2015, 10:55 am
actually I found the video on youtube, and someone clarified it for me so I understand how thi could work, and I did read some of it, i scimmed through it.
  • Sbia
  • Level 45
  • Master Botanist
  • August 16, 2015, 2:01 pm
might've missed the bit where he said that you are colonising the upper atmosphere
and actually we can go that close to the sun, we've sent ships to Mercury and venus before
  • 56Nare
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Engineer
  • July 25, 2015, 2:48 am
As for the colonization of Mars, unlocking he abundant amount of greenhouse gasses would thiken the atmosphere, and warm the planet. The shades from Venus could also be used to reflect sunlight onto the planet's surface, thus warming it even more. As for the gravity issue, if you were to take a ship from Mars to earth, you could spin it to simulate Gravity, (not sure why Apple thinks that should be in caps) and increase the spin daily, until you reach earth, by which time the Martian would be a custom to earth's gravity.

If you can't tell, I love this stuff this stuff.
  • 56Nare
  • Level 10
  • Journeyman Engineer
  • July 25, 2015, 2:42 am
Eve considered solar shades? I read a science fiction novel, where a solar shade (a giant sheet of carbon something) was deployed into the sky above Venus's poles, cooling them down. With several of these, the surface was made habitable.

really interested to see some builds from you, especially the floating cities.

im still voting for Mars though :p
  • ureshiii
  • Level 33
  • Artisan Magical Boy
  • July 21, 2015, 12:02 pm
wow.
  • Monke
  • Level 47
  • Master Dragonborn
  • July 19, 2015, 2:04 pm
What if terrorists blew up the balloons? Idk. I think we should colonize both! Maybe have US focus on venus and Russia focus on mars! Again, Idk.
  • Space
  • Level 33
  • Artisan Network
  • July 19, 2015, 2:20 pm
Assuming terrorists could acquire the technology, money, and training required for interplanitary space travel, I suppose that would be a pretty big concern.
  • Monke
  • Level 47
  • Master Dragonborn
  • July 19, 2015, 4:25 pm
Well, ya. XD
  • 10Andrew
  • Level 40
  • Master Nether Knight
  • July 19, 2015, 12:24 pm
I think the main ethical issue with colonizing other planets is that it can cause catastrophic birth defects in children born on the other planets due to the difference in gravity. Assuming that this could be corrected and the children would be born healthy, what if they decided that THEY did not want to live on a barren planet only ever meeting the same people day after day for the rest of their life. Would NASA be obliged to set up a program to bring them back to Earth.

There are too many eithical issues in my opinion.

EDIT: Sorry, I was looking at it as a colony of about 20 people. If there is a whole load of people then the social effects would not be as bad.
  • Space
  • Level 33
  • Artisan Network
  • July 19, 2015, 1:03 pm
Read the positives section again :P

Venus's and Earth's gravity are virtually indistinguishable. The difference between both gravities is so small that it wouldn't have a noticeable effect on humans' health. Now MARS on the other hand...
  • Sbia
  • Level 45
  • Master Botanist
  • July 17, 2015, 6:12 am
i am going to totally destroy this
  • Space
  • Level 33
  • Artisan Network
  • July 17, 2015, 6:35 am
You realize I specifically told them to wait until the Mars one comes out before making a decision right?
...
who am I kidding that's not going to stop anyone
  • AnimeFanFTW
  • Forum Moderator
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 16, 2015, 8:15 pm
Colonizing Venus, impossible.

If you stepped on Venus, you'll experience pressure more then 90 times greater then Earth. I'd like to see a man-made object withstand that.
Not to mention that Venus's temperature is 450C, the hottest planet in our Solar System. And then, there's the clouds that are made of pure sulfuric acid.
At least at Mars, the gravity is manageable, if a bit low, and it's temperature isn't at dangerous levels.

And with the airships, what if something goes wrong? I'm sure the sulfuric acid wouldn't help.

(I studyed astronomy at school, so yeah. xD)
Actually, the surface of venus's average temperature is 462C and the highest is 467C. 450C as venus's temperature hardly happens. That would probably only happen above the surface. Yes, I kind of studied astronomy at school but they didn't help me much. My dad knew everything about space so he taught me way more then the school taught me. But besides that, I agree with all opinions, Venus can blaze a ship. A while back, not the long ago, Some country sent a rover-type robot on venus, and it only lasted about 1-2 minutes before burning up in it's atmosphere. (The pictures were crappy due to black and white [It was a while ago, remember] and Venus's atmosphere.) So if someone were to colonize Venus, they would die within a minute if we don't have the proper technology to basically resist Venus's hot temperatures. So I agree with everyone!
  • Space
  • Level 33
  • Artisan Network
  • July 16, 2015, 8:32 pm
But the entire blog was about why we shouldn't colonize the surface...

With the airships, the worst thing that can happen is a rip in the balloon or a leak in the airlock. Both are easily manageable as discussed in the last paragraph of the Main Argument section.

On Mars, the gravity is a significant problem, not more manageable than Venus's, as discussed in the Positives section. Venus's gravity would actually be far more beneficial for colonists.

The temperature in the area that we'd be colonizing would be MUCH more favorable than mars's temperature. In fact if it weren't for the occasional cloud of sulfuric acid drifting too far upward, you'd be able to walk around in open air with nothing but a gas mask.

As far as sulfuric acid goes, the structures would be above the majority of the sulfuric acid clouds so the problem of dangerous amounts of corrosion would take a pretty long time to present itself
  • AnimeFanFTW
  • Forum Moderator
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 16, 2015, 8:35 pm
*reads again*

Sigh...guess you studyed more in school then. xD
I still think Mars is a better idea, but whatevs
He sure did. Because you spelt "studied" wrong. XD
  • AnimeFanFTW
  • Forum Moderator
  • Level 55
  • Grandmaster Senpai
  • July 17, 2015, 5:42 am
*gives up*
A society entirely living and dependent on airships?  I might as well move there now.

I really like the concept of weekly space articles, especially well-researched ones like these.  I'll definitely take into account this info designing my own colony worlds!
  • Popponic
  • Level 34
  • Artisan Nerd
  • July 16, 2015, 8:10 pm
True man, this is better than that 'Colonizing Mars' idea
  • Sbia
  • Level 45
  • Master Botanist
  • July 17, 2015, 1:31 am
wait for it....

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