Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

NASA proposes "Cloud City" above Venus

  1. Dec 22, 2014 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Swap the three month life support for long term instrument packages and do something useful, and I'll buy it.
  4. Dec 22, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Floating city occupied by whom, or rather, what?!

    75°C is somewhat more than "hotter than strictly comfortable, i's more like strictly fatal for mammals, and most living terrestrial creatures. Of course, worms living around deep ocean vents might feel a bit cool.

    Cooling a spacecraft (keeping interior about 21°C) would be problematic.
  5. Dec 23, 2014 #4
    Yeah, I think the journalist really botched the science in this article. I think he may have meant to say Fahrenheit? The area between 50-55km above Venus' surface is roughly at Earth surface temperature and pressure. Also, he obviously got the zero-g thing wrong.

    I've also been wondering if it would be more beneficial to use thermoelectric generators or heat engines driven by the temperature gradient in Venus' atmosphere as opposed to expensive solar panels.
  6. Dec 23, 2014 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    They seriously named this HAVOC? Unbelievable...

  7. Dec 24, 2014 #6
    The temperature is correct. See this fuller discussion here:http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/...s-airships-cloud-cities-for-venus-exploration

    What did he get wrong about zero-g? He correctly said in a floating airship the astronauts would not be subject to it.
  8. Dec 24, 2014 #7
    I was just referring to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Venus#Troposphere . I assumed they would be staying in a cooler area more towards 55km.

    I guess I misread that part about the zero-g, I thought he was saying they would be working in zero-g on Venus. Nevermind.
  9. Dec 24, 2014 #8

    Ken G

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Um, they kind of forgot to say how the astronauts get back. I think they need to consider a little more about how you get a big enough rocket that can escape Venus gravity to hang from a Zeppelin. In other words, are they kidding?
  10. Dec 25, 2014 #9
    Refer to the link provided in my post #6. The outline concept is dealt with there. Overlooking generalities of that sort is not what happens when outlining a project concept.
  11. Dec 25, 2014 #10
    Helium is about 1/10th the mass of CO2, so it should provide a pretty big bouyant force.
  12. Dec 25, 2014 #11

    Ken G

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It was the article that I was talking about, overlooking those generalities. The other article you link to does describe them, but frankly, that's the part I find completely unconvincing. They seem to claim it would be easier to get to Venus because the mission is shorter, but just blithely ignore all the unproven concepts required to make the return trip. For example, the Orion is only used to get from Earth orbit back to Earth! Go figure-- the spacecraft we're being told is our ticket to the solar system is only being used for the final few hundred kilometers of that whole mission. And the reason given for all this? Nothing is mentioned except exploration of Venus!

    Folks, if you want to explore Venus, send a robotic orbiter that can drop probes into the atmosphere. I'm sorry, manned missions to airships is a completely ludicrous goal, and calling it some kind of stepping stone to Mars is laughable. Seriously, someone had to say it.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook