Interesting, but “half as much lifting power as helium on earth” probably means “can’t be made strong enough to survive stormy weather” and “doesn’t have enough reserve lift to make sure it doesn’t get sent to an unsurvivable depth” in a downdraft. Despite access to a sufficiency of helium, the US Navy abandoned Zeppelins because of their propensity to break up or crash in storms. And crashing on Venus is NOT going to have any survivors.
In Rendezvous With Rama it’s mentioned that there had been attempts to colonize Venus but they’d failed. Perhaps that’s why.
Venus MIGHT be a candidate for colonization only when we are sufficently built-up in space infrastructure and tech has advanced to the point where we could TRY planetary engineering, at attempt to terraform it. But you’d need to shield most of the sunward-side of the planet and THEN start bombarding it with comets, to even START cooling it down. (and that assumes quite a bit of handwavium for the engineering and space capability aspects).
Easier to build orbital habitats by mag-launching lunar regolith, ala the O’Neill Colony concept of the 1970’s. And you’d get faster results, with space mirrors and comets, by ballooning a nickel-iron asteroid. . . .
Hmm. Intriguing. I presume there’s a newsletter to which I might subscribe?
Ohhh, home on Lagrange…
I always like to point out when people talk about colonizing space that we have an ENTIRE continent (Antarctica) that is more hospitable and much easier to get to.
This article seems rather blase about the 350kph winds. How anybody is supposed to live in a structure that is constantly getting buffeted around like Dorothy on her way to Oz all day and night is not well explained. It’s not like you’re going to be in a nice smooth flow, there is going to be turbulence.
For the structural reinforcement you’ll need to survive in those conditions, you could almost certainly just build a pressure vessel and hang out in space instead (aka Orbital Colonies). Also, you wouldn’t have to travel all the way to Venus that way, you could build them in orbit.
Unless we figure out how to terraform an entire planet Venus is just not going to be any good for colonization.
Oh give me a locus. . . where the gravitons focus. . . .and the three-body problem is solved.
Where microwaves play, down at three degrees K. . . and the cold virus never evolved.
(Back in 1980, I was one of the founding members of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. . .)
No Environmental Impact Statements for orbital habitats. Need I say more ???
The one advantage is that Venus is made of matter, while orbital colonies (pending unobtanium-nanofiber space elevators) are nearly worth their weight in gold, just because there is so little something and so much nothing out there.
Venus would not be my first choice, but mass is serious business in space.
Sounds like a good candidate for a prison planet, but not much else. I don’t think anyone would want to voluntarily live there, given the conditions they’d have to live in.
All of that mass on Venus is a bit of a tease though, because it will be almost impossible to mine anything on the surface (just too hellish, and you still have to pay the launch costs to get it up to your colonies). You can filter stuff out of the atmosphere, but we already have plenty of CO2 on Earth. If there were particle of platinum or something floating around the atmosphere this might make sense, but I don’t see much value in setting up a CO2 mine.
" close to the psi found in a hydraulic car crusher . "
I had no idea that hydraulic car crushers were using MIND POWER to effect their effects.
Colour me newly informed … and a bit frightened.
It’s hard to imagine the sort of crime that is so heinous that you have to ship someone 40 million kilometers away.
Have YOU seen Peter play that organ? Well alright then.
Oh, I agree that Venus is an unpleasant choice, unless we could do something about the climate on a grand scale. My point was merely that there’s plenty of space there for the taking; but even the lousiest geology on earth looks like a high-value gold mine compared to living on a few specs of dust and some hydrogen atoms. If you want to do anything serious in space, you’ll need to start bag-n’-dragging asteroids like they’ve upset the CIA…
All of that mass on Venus is a bit of a tease though, because it will be almost impossible to mine anything on the surface (just too hellish, and you still have to pay the launch costs to get it up to your colonies).
Well, not really: we managed to make complex landers with scientific equipment that survived for about an hour back in the seventies. I’d expect we’d be able to do better with mining equipment (which would probably be very similar to deep sea oil rigs). Also, the colonies are not orbital, so pulling up material would not require a launch: pulleys on balloons would suffice, like a lot of logging companies today, but on a somewhat larger scale.
The value of mass is certainly not to Earth, of course. There’s no plausible scenario where we expand habitation to other planets for financial gain. The value would he having it close at hand for the colony.