NASA proposes "Cloud City" above Venus

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  • #2
Bystander
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Swap the three month life support for long term instrument packages and do something useful, and I'll buy it.
 
  • #3
Astronuc
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http://www.cnet.com/news/nasa-wants-to-build-a-floating-city-above-the-clouds-of-venus/

This is something I've been hoping they would do for a long time. Let's hope it gets approved. What are your thoughts?
Floating city occupied by whom, or rather, what?!

While the surface of Venus would destroy a human, hovering above its clouds at an altitude of around 50 kilometres (30 miles) is a set of conditions similar to Earth. Its atmospheric pressure is comparable, and gravity is only slightly lower -- which would allow longer-term stays, effectively eliminating the ailments that occur during long-term stays in zero G. Temperature is about 75 degrees Celsius, which is hotter than is strictly comfortable, but would still be manageable. Finally, the atmosphere at that altitude offers protection from solar radiation comparable to living in Canada.
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.
 
  • #4
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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.
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.
 
  • #5
berkeman
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They seriously named this HAVOC? Unbelievable...

The High Altitude Venus Operational Concept -- HAVOC
 
  • #6
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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..
The temperature is correct. See this fuller discussion here:http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/space-flight/nasa-study-proposes-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.
 
  • #7
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The temperature is correct. See this fuller discussion here:http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/space-flight/nasa-study-proposes-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.
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.
 
  • #8
Ken G
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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?
 
  • #9
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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?
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.
 
  • #10
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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?
Helium is about 1/10th the mass of CO2, so it should provide a pretty big bouyant force.
 
  • #11
Ken G
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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.
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.
 

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