NASA Envisions Floating Settlements Above Venus
NASA's High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) program will feature an evolutionary exploration of Venus' atmosphere that could one day lead to semi-permanent colonies.
High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (a.k.a. HAVOC) sounds a lot like a plot point from a 1970's James Bond film. But unless NASA decides to turn into an evil SPECTRE-like organization, don't expect Roger Moore to step in anytime soon.
HAVOC refers to an as-of-now theoretical project from the American space agency that strives to explore and potentially colonize Venus' atmosphere. Here's how Sravanth Verma of Digital Journal describes it:
"The High Altitude Venus Operational Concept or HAVOC project plans to create a city of multiple zeppelins, floating 31 miles up in the Venetian atmosphere at a temperature of 167 degrees Fahrenheit. That is only 17 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than Earth's highest recorded temperature, and probably easier to deal with for current technology than Mars' chilly -81 degrees.The NASA project will first send a robotic scout to test the environment before sending a 30-day manned mission in a helium airship."
NASA has released a promotional video on YouTube (embedded below) to highlight HAVOC as a way to explore Venus:
"The atmosphere of Venus is an exciting destination for both further scientific study and future human exploration. A lighter-than-air vehicle can 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. The mission requires less time to complete than a crewed Mars mission, and the environment at 50 km is relatively benign, with similar pressure, density, gravity, and radiation protection to the surface of Earth."
Photo credit: NASA
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