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Colonizing Venus

Posted by: jrpalmer - Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:21 pm
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Colonizing Venus 
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Post Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:21 pm
I often wonder about colonizing Venus. It is relatively close, it has a similar gravity to earth (hard to replicate), and has a stable atmosphere. The atmosphere may be poisonous to human, but at least it is there. My ideas for colonizing Venus are mostly from science fiction novels and random internet readings so it may sound familar.

-If a probe or capsule could be launched to float in the atmosphere as a staging ground for future missions. A standard earth atmosphere should be able to keep the structure afloat.
-Since Venus is closer to the sun solar power is more effective. If the floating capsule had solar panels on it they could be used to generate electricity. This electricity could be used to separate Carbon and Oxygen from Carbon Dioxide. The oxygen would be used to sustain human life if any were aboard or combine with Hydrogen to create water (for humans or terraforming processes) and extra electricity or heat in the process. The carbon could potentially be used for making carbon fibre or maybe carbon nanotubes.

This would be the first stage of colonization. It has a source for power, heat, water and structural material.

Potential problems and solutions

-You would need a source of Hydrogen. It is the most common element in the solar system, a fleet of automated ships could potentially skim off Hydrogen from Jupiter and deposit it in a capsule above Venus Essentially creating a gas station.
-Food. Creating a habitat with the necessary soil mineral condition or water conditions could prove difficult. Those may need to be source from elsewhere but not necessarily from earth. There are various minerals on lower gravity planets which could supply Venus more effective. Iron and Nitrogen being the ones that come to mind.
-Epoxy or any other component to bind the carbon material would have to be sourced from earth

This would be a slow and steady process but one I believe we could do with our level of technology.

To me this is just a fun little theoretical engineering problem which I will probably work on for the rest of my life. Any criticisms and suggestions are welcomed.


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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:10 pm
I presume you'll have heard of Geoffrey Landis then, since you've been reading about it on the internet? He's probably done the most work on the subject.

Water won't be much of a problem, because once we've go it, we've got it. Condensing out the sulphuric acid and decomposing it won't be difficult, and I'm sure we can use the Sulphur for something (plastics manufacturing?). I'd like to use some of the Hydrogen to improve our lifting ability, but we don't need it for that purpose.

Perhaps, to increase the amount, we can mine the solar wind? Lot's of Hydrogen and Helium there.

Carbon, fortunately, is the wonder material of the universe. We can use it for pretty much all our building needs.


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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:43 am
Venus has a couple of problems from a terraforming perspective. Too much solar energy exacerbates the thick deep atmospheric conditions. Venus has a slow retro-grade rotation. Its days are backwards and last 116 Earth days. It has a very weak magnetic field that does not protect it from solar radiation. Even if you could fix all of the other things "wrong" with it, that alone will make turning it into an Earth-like world very difficult.

Could we start changing Venus, even with current technology? Sure, it is just a matter of resources. However, there are places easier to get at in the solar system, not to mention we have messes we need to fix here at home first.

Sorry to say but Venus is likely to remain the "bad real estate" of the solar system for a long, long time.


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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:59 am
I say to that, meh. Mars has a major problem which makes terraforming it difficult - it takes so damn long, even KSR had to bring in life extension to allow the characters to see it through, and that was with an optimistic timeframe.

Therefore, colonising Mars is very difficult?

We don't have make every single place we arrive into a Terra clone. Venus is Venus, and there ain't a thing wrong with using floating colonies. Airships are cool. Add a few comets in, so that we have decent clouds made of actual H2O rather than H2SO4, and maybe genetically engineered plants can grow in the open on the outside of the colonies. A partially terraformed Venus like this will be second to a partially terraformed Mars in terms of desirability of colonisation (and before an unmodified Mars).


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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:43 am
Terraforming Mars is probably "more impossible" than Venus. Its easier to work with too much than too little.


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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:36 pm
I think that "alien" biospheres on other planets will form as a biproduct of our activities no matter what. Some of it will be purposefully designed organisms to maybe extract resources, or slightly modify conditions, others will be unintended adaptations from stowaway organisms. It doesn't mean though that current organisms living here would be compatible with the conditions those other biospheres will thrive in.

I am actually wondering that if we ran Earth again from original conditions to current state, starting out with the same organisms, if life would have evolved itself and it's environment into the same conditions we enjoy now.

I mean not only did life evolve and adapt to new environments across the globe, but it also changed the environments it adapted to into new ones, which in turn it needed to further adapt to.

So if evolution is not only the change of organisms in time to better suit living conditions, but it is also the change of living conditions in time that the new adaptations generate. And if evolution isn't a linear one directional process, but a chaotic multidirectional maze. Then it is possible that our whole planet could look a whole lot different now if we could rerun the whole experiment from the start over and over again.

So Earth biosphere no218 could be completely inhospitable for Earth biosphere no123. Some biospheres could be compatible or overlap in some areas, others could be completely alien.

Of course it is possible that physics and biochemistry extremely restrict the direction of evolution, and so the whole system is forced into a very specific range of conditions and so all biospheres would have to be extremely similar to support complex life like ours do.

Anyway, I think life is extremely resilient and adaptable. It just acquired the ability of "supercomputing" a moment ago through linking up enlarged tool using primate brains through languages and social protocols. Then in a blink of an eye it got to the point where it is extending it's repertoir of building materials to all elements of the periodic table. It extended it's extra cellular structures from hard mineral shells, to server farms. It is already in the brink of hopping planetary bodies, and I doubt it will be stopped once it gets momentum.

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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:27 am
Guys, guys, guys, it takes 7 days, i read it in the bible! ;)

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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:31 pm
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
Guys, guys, guys, it takes 7 days, i read it in the bible! ;)


Thats what the PR guys said, actual delivery date was 9 billion years late even then it ran hot for a couple of billion and the cooling system has overcompensated a few times since :wink: :twisted:

Back on subject I don't think it should be Mars or Venus we should be doing parallel processing and also doing stuff on the Moon and building O'Neil colonies. As there are near Venus asteroids tho some of them could also be claimed as NEO's capturing one into an appropriate Venus orbit might make a good base for a sky hook type space elevator a bit easier than a fully fledged one especially on that would have to initially cope with sulphuric acid rain.

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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:24 am
Grab a big asteroid, build inside it,

No escape velocity required, free radiation shielding by collecting building materials......

Get something rich in carbon and or water and iron,

the moon has trace elements of aluminum and titanium, and has a very low escape, and is right next door.... land a couple of rich asteroids, to get what is not already there, and start building a shipyard / Habitat.

Modular everything,

Just because you don't know how the next generation will use it does not mean they won't.

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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:21 pm
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
Guys, guys, guys, it takes 7 days, i read it in the bible! ;)


Rob Goldsmith, biblical scholar. :roll:

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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:43 am
You could nuke a bunch of caverns into Mars. But Venus would melt you in half a second. A nuke wouldn't help there. I'm pretty much in favor of any space habitation, as long as it involves a big enough bang.

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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:02 pm
Well, we're obviously talking large scale engineering here, so what about this: Venus has way too much of an atmosphere, while Mars has way too little. Could we do a transplant?

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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:31 pm
SuperShuki wrote:
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
Guys, guys, guys, it takes 7 days, i read it in the bible! ;)


Rob Goldsmith, biblical scholar. :roll:

Seriously, Mr. Goldsmith... the terraforming part of creation was done in under 3.

But still no match for KHAAAAAAN!!

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Post Re: Colonizing Venus   Posted on: Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:05 am
Lourens wrote:
Well, we're obviously talking large scale engineering here, so what about this: Venus has way too much of an atmosphere, while Mars has way too little. Could we do a transplant?


All you need is a stable wormhole on the surface of both planets. :)

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Post A brilliant idea   Posted on: Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:20 pm
Why don't we replicate the conditions of Mars here on Earth, and fix up some extremophiles who can thrive in it? Then all we have to do is dump them on Mars, and presto - soon, Mars will be covered with them! This would actually be a great project for a kid's science fair. I'll bet it would get first place.

Quote:
Seriously, Mr. Goldsmith... the terraforming part of creation was done in under 3.


Godless heathens. You will burn in hellfire for all eternity. The devil take you!

:P :lol: :twisted:

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