Author Topic: NASA’s Retiring Top Scientist Says We Can Terraform Mars and Maybe Venus, Too  (Read 8473 times)

Offline colbourne

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Building a large sunshield between the Sun and Venus would eventually freeze out the atmosphere. It might be easier to do than some of the other suggestions here.

In the short term a base in the clouds seems something we could do without too much trouble and cost.

Offline JoeFromRIUSA

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Why not wait till the sun starts expanding and things will take care of themselves? (At least in Mars' case.  Heavy sarcasm. I mean in due time, Europa and Titan will be habitable, right"?

Offline daedalus1

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In the short term a base in the clouds seems something we could do without too much trouble and cost.
That is by far the biggest understatement I've probably ever seen.
Only a handful of countries have mastered the art of escaping the earth's surface with all the resources within fairly easy reach. The gravity in Venus's clouds is only slightly less than the earth's surface, no resources at hand to build multi stage rockets and no firm ground to bolt them to. And I'm only just beginning.

Offline colbourne

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In the short term a base in the clouds seems something we could do without too much trouble and cost.
That is by far the biggest understatement I've probably ever seen.
Only a handful of countries have mastered the art of escaping the earth's surface with all the resources within fairly easy reach. The gravity in Venus's clouds is only slightly less than the earth's surface, no resources at hand to build multi stage rockets and no firm ground to bolt them to. And I'm only just beginning.
If this was going to be a one way mission, for people who want to live the rest of their lives on Venus or until technology makes return to Earth simpler, it would be possible to have one rocket (delta V is less than going to Mars) launch a habitat that was bouyant with breathable gases, but would allow suitably equipped crew to go outside with not much more than a rebreather and acid proof suit. Some resources could be extracted from the atmosphere. Much more energy available from solar than Mars, and plants could be grown in buoyant floating spheres. I think this could be much cheaper than going to Mars.

Offline daedalus1

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In the short term a base in the clouds seems something we could do without too much trouble and cost.
That is by far the biggest understatement I've probably ever seen.
Only a handful of countries have mastered the art of escaping the earth's surface with all the resources within fairly easy reach. The gravity in Venus's clouds is only slightly less than the earth's surface, no resources at hand to build multi stage rockets and no firm ground to bolt them to. And I'm only just beginning.
If this was going to be a one way mission, for people who want to live the rest of their lives on Venus or until technology makes return to Earth simpler, it would be possible to have one rocket (delta V is less than going to Mars) launch a habitat that was bouyant with breathable gases, but would allow suitably equipped crew to go outside with not much more than a rebreather and acid proof suit. Some resources could be extracted from the atmosphere. Much more energy available from solar than Mars, and plants could be grown in buoyant floating spheres. I think this could be much cheaper than going to Mars.
If you say it quick it's easy you don't have to think about it. Try building a floating habitat just above the earth's surface. Get back to me when you've done a prototype scale model, say 10 people, and keep it floating and supplied without taking anything from the earth's surface.

Offline spacenut

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It would be easier to build a giant O'Neil cylinder or Babylon 5 type city that to build a floating city on Venus.  A large space city could be in orbit around the moon or at one of the Lagrange points.  It could take some raw materials from the moon and water or methane from earth.  It could manufacture things that could be manufactured in zero G in the center, and people could live on the rotating sides.  Food could be grown there, etc.  Then there wouldn't be a gravity problem like living on the moon for people's health.  Same is true for a Martian orbital colony, especially for expectant mothers, childbirth, and raising young children. 

A floating orbital city at Venus would have to get all their supplies from Earth.  A long way to travel.  They might be able to get some CO2 from the Venus atmosphere for methane manufacturing for station keeping or such.  Water?  It would have to come from earth.  I just don't see this happening unless they get some type of sun shade built to lower the temperature of Venus to comfortable levels. 

Mars would be easier due to water being available.  It needs some radiation shielding and atmosphere building before people could go without spacesuits or carry oxygen around.  At least there you can use Martian materials to build underground habitats. 

Offline JayWee

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A floating orbital city at Venus would have to get all their supplies from Earth.  A long way to travel.
Wouldn't that be quite challenging too? To get from venusian floating city to space you need a two stage reusable rocket.

Offline spacenut

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A floating orbital city at Venus would have to get all their supplies from Earth.  A long way to travel.
Wouldn't that be quite challenging too? To get from venusian floating city to space you need a two stage reusable rocket.

Unless it is very high in the atmosphere.  Also, Venus' gravity is about 1 G. 

I would see the moon, Mars, Ceres, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn way before Venus. 

Offline colbourne

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In the short term a base in the clouds seems something we could do without too much trouble and cost.
That is by far the biggest understatement I've probably ever seen.
Only a handful of countries have mastered the art of escaping the earth's surface with all the resources within fairly easy reach. The gravity in Venus's clouds is only slightly less than the earth's surface, no resources at hand to build multi stage rockets and no firm ground to bolt them to. And I'm only just beginning.
If this was going to be a one way mission, for people who want to live the rest of their lives on Venus or until technology makes return to Earth simpler, it would be possible to have one rocket (delta V is less than going to Mars) launch a habitat that was bouyant with breathable gases, but would allow suitably equipped crew to go outside with not much more than a rebreather and acid proof suit. Some resources could be extracted from the atmosphere. Much more energy available from solar than Mars, and plants could be grown in buoyant floating spheres. I think this could be much cheaper than going to Mars.
If you say it quick it's easy you don't have to think about it. Try building a floating habitat just above the earth's surface. Get back to me when you've done a prototype scale model, say 10 people, and keep it floating and supplied without taking anything from the earth's surface.
You mean like the Zeppelins built over 100 years ago that successfully circumvented the world.
Plastics could be made from the gases that can be extracted from the atmosphere. Metals could potentially be extracted this way as well.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2022 04:06 pm by colbourne »

Offline daedalus1

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In the short term a base in the clouds seems something we could do without too much trouble and cost.
That is by far the biggest understatement I've probably ever seen.
Only a handful of countries have mastered the art of escaping the earth's surface with all the resources within fairly easy reach. The gravity in Venus's clouds is only slightly less than the earth's surface, no resources at hand to build multi stage rockets and no firm ground to bolt them to. And I'm only just beginning.
If this was going to be a one way mission, for people who want to live the rest of their lives on Venus or until technology makes return to Earth simpler, it would be possible to have one rocket (delta V is less than going to Mars) launch a habitat that was bouyant with breathable gases, but would allow suitably equipped crew to go outside with not much more than a rebreather and acid proof suit. Some resources could be extracted from the atmosphere. Much more energy available from solar than Mars, and plants could be grown in buoyant floating spheres. I think this could be much cheaper than going to Mars.
If you say it quick it's easy you don't have to think about it. Try building a floating habitat just above the earth's surface. Get back to me when you've done a prototype scale model, say 10 people, and keep it floating and supplied without taking anything from the earth's surface.
You mean like the Zeppelins built over 100 years ago that successfully circumvented the world.
Plastics could be made from the gases that can be extracted from the atmosphere. Metals could potentially be extracted this way as well.
No. They took all their resources from the surface of the earth, and didn't have to worry about an artificial atmosphere.
They also landed many times.

Offline Slarty1080

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In the short term a base in the clouds seems something we could do without too much trouble and cost.
That is by far the biggest understatement I've probably ever seen.
Only a handful of countries have mastered the art of escaping the earth's surface with all the resources within fairly easy reach. The gravity in Venus's clouds is only slightly less than the earth's surface, no resources at hand to build multi stage rockets and no firm ground to bolt them to. And I'm only just beginning.
If this was going to be a one way mission, for people who want to live the rest of their lives on Venus or until technology makes return to Earth simpler, it would be possible to have one rocket (delta V is less than going to Mars) launch a habitat that was bouyant with breathable gases, but would allow suitably equipped crew to go outside with not much more than a rebreather and acid proof suit. Some resources could be extracted from the atmosphere. Much more energy available from solar than Mars, and plants could be grown in buoyant floating spheres. I think this could be much cheaper than going to Mars.
If you say it quick it's easy you don't have to think about it. Try building a floating habitat just above the earth's surface. Get back to me when you've done a prototype scale model, say 10 people, and keep it floating and supplied without taking anything from the earth's surface.
You mean like the Zeppelins built over 100 years ago that successfully circumvented the world.
Plastics could be made from the gases that can be extracted from the atmosphere. Metals could potentially be extracted this way as well.
No. They took all their resources from the surface of the earth, and didn't have to worry about an artificial atmosphere.
They also landed many times.
I think its fair to say that a floating habitat on Venus is feasible in theory, but would be extremely challenging to build (to say the least). Future technological developments might make it easier but there are many very difficult issues to resolve.
My optimistic hope is that it will become cool to really think about things... rather than just doing reactive bullsh*t based on no knowledge (Brian Cox)

Offline VSECOTSPE

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The point to habitats in the Venusian atmosphere is that they may be the only near-term location besides large rotating well shielded space stations where humans can safely reproduce and live out long, natural lifetimes.  1/3g at Mars and 1/6g at the Moon may not be safe for embryonic development, and living out lives away from cosmic radiation underground may not be viable either.  (We don’t live decades in caves or underwater habitats).

No doubt, resources will be more of an issue at Venus than at Mars or the Moon.  But that will be a secondary concern for long-term settlement if generations cannot safely reproduce and live in the latter environments.

FWIW…

 

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