Living Above Venus – Sorry Mars
Think about laying on the couch, turning on a 24/7 news channel and thinking, “Ugh, I want off this Earth!” It’s something we all do from time to time. However, the time for leaving Earth could be coming soon because NASA is talking about having humans inhabit the atmosphere of Venus.
Known at NASA as HAVOC – High Altitude Venus Operational Concept – engineers and scientists at the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, have been working on a preliminary feasibility study on how robots and humans could make a Venus mission a reality.
“The atmosphere of Venus is an exciting destination for both further scientific study and future human exploration,” said aerospace engineer Christopher A. Jones of the Space Mission Analysis Branch.
“One concept is a lighter-than-air vehicle that could carry either a host of instruments and probes, or a habitat and ascent vehicle for a crew of two astronauts to explore Venus for up to a month.”
He said the study showed the mission would require less time to complete than crewed missions to other planets and could even be a practice run for a Mars mission. (Via CNN)
I know that making anagrams is a fun thing that the American Gov’t loves to do with projects, but naming a project like this ‘HAVOC’ seems a bit odd. It doesn’t sound like something a mission involving humans should be called. That’s more of a nickname for a new stealth bomber.
What would a project like this even look like?
Imagine updating your location status on Facebook to “Atmospheric Zeppelin Above Venus.” That would put all your friends pictures from Hawaii to shame. I’ve seen what happened when the Russians sent a probe to Venus — It melted but managed to take a few pictures. How does living in the atmosphere differ from the hellish conditions on the surface?
And at a mere 167 degrees Fahrenheit (75 degrees Celsius) — just 30 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth — even current technology has the ability to contend with everything that Venus could throw at the mission. (Via CNN)
167 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t so bad when you consider what the conditions are like on Mars. When we eventually go there, Astronauts will live in little pods that are basically jail cells If you wanted to go outside to play, you’d need a suit. Oh, and you’re never coming back to Earth. I vote for Venus. Plus, I hear there are women there. Mars is all dudes.
Have a look at what the people over at NASA Langley Research Center are planning:
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.