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Among the colonization plans are Venus and Mars, our two neighbors closer. But what advantages and disadvantages with each of these planets? The missions are already on the table.
The world has its eyes in space. No day passes in which one person does not ask when or how we get to step on another planet. Colonization is a goal that every day seems closer . And when we talk about other planets normally we think of Mars, our neighbor. But it is not the only possibility. And NASA plans for the colonization of Venus you count by a base that would float among the clouds. If we had to choose between one project or another, by what we’d bet? Extraterrestrial possibilities do nothing but grow and grow.
So would the colonization of Venus
this project is probably one of the most spectacular and interesting we’ve heard. HAVOC acronym for High Altitude Venus Operational Concept would be a station in orbit and large altitude on this planet. In the early stages of the plan, the HAVOC would be a temporary settlement in one year, which could translate into a perennial station on the Venusian clouds over time. From the HAVOC, a team of astronauts would conduct relevant studies to learn more about the planet. The first concept of this station consists of a huge main zeppelin and a secondary . The blimp would be located about fifty kilometers above the surface of Venus. So take advantage of the clarity of his position to obtain solar energy, would hold the 75C in the atmosphere at that point and would be under less but sufficient gravity. The idea may seem crazy but, to what extent is it feasible?
- The truth is that we have available almost all the necessary technology to address the colonization of Venus . We need only make some adjustments as to the floating station, which is not as far-fetched as it seems idea.
- Venus is much closer than Mars, with several million kilometers apart. This is important because transport between “large” distances requires a lot of time, resources and exposure to radiation.
- The cost of the colonization of Venus is estimated to significantly lower.
- access to a station fifty kilometers from the surface allows great maneuverability when accessing or leaving the planet and we have a gravitational pull much less.
- the gravity of Venus is virtually identical to that of the Earth.
- the last question concerns the research itself. And it is that Venus has a large number and variety of organic matter (compared) as well as a size, an atmosphere and a similar land composition (or we had once).
- the surface of Venus, fifty kilometers below the HAVOC, it would be completely inaccessible. And its atmosphere is very acidic, 92 times heavier than ours and with 463ºC temperature.
- Any errors or problems with altitude in the atmosphere of Venus would be a pretty lethal problem for season and its inhabitants.
- the station, at least for the moment, continue to be subjected to about 75 degrees Celsius as well as some acidic atmosphere.
and so would the colonization of Mars
Now look in the other direction. Our old friend Mars. The colonization of this planet is still the focus of attention of experts from the beginning astronomy. Why? Because it seemed the most appropriate point, of course. Despite its tenuous atmosphere and its red and dry appearance, Mars is a place with many points in common with Earth . There was a time, even when the red planet harbored water. Who knows if even life. You may even remain still remains, do not know. But what we do know is that there are several plans (some more serious than others) for the colonization of Mars. In all, practically creating a base in perennial surface that maintains a regular population, as does the ISS currently contemplated for example. Without taking any concrete plan, however, look what advantages does.
- Its main advantage is in its “habitability”. Mars, despite its extreme surface has characteristics that we consider “assumable”. For example, a gravity and pressure endurable. Floor with a known composition, etc.
- This same reason is what drives the ideas of “terraforming” a possibility of creating a new Earth on the red planet.
- We can build a base on its surface with relative ease.
- We have years of analysis, several probes, robots and an enormous amount of data about mars. We also have plans drawn up for a long time.
- The first problem we encountered is whether distance. It is a couple of years travel from Earth, at least. This represents a significant expenditure in resources, fuel, weight and space. In addition, communications need between 10 and 40 minutes to get from one end to another.
- During the journey, the astronauts would be exposed to a rate similar radiation to be subjected for three years to the action of cosmic rays.
- The next problem is gravity. Many current studies work in assessing the effects of microgravity on the human body. And we have told what the consequences are living in space. The gravity of Mars is only a quarter of the Earth. We can assume that this would not be good for any human being.
- Its thin atmosphere is also a problem. And it does not provide protection practically to the sun’s radiation, a hypothetical asteroid (however small) and degassing.
- Of course, we still have the necessary technology for the colonization of Mars. This, though not enough, is more complex than necessary for the colonization of Venus because the base surface and the long trip.
- Biological pollution is another concern. Yes. It is not good that reaching a planet and contaminate it biologically with microorganisms and organic debris. We do not know what the consequences. This, with the airbase of Venus and its terrible surface, for example, could not pass.
Looking for a place in space
it seems that the list of pros and cons opts more for Venus. So why do we continue working on the conquest of Mars? As already mentioned, Mars is a planet that we have an incredible amount of data strong>. Every day more, in fact. We have found that a robot can descend and “survive” on it. It is much more than can be said of Venus, whose probes have not lasted more than a limited time before imploding under pressure. In addition, projects for the colonization of Mars take longer on the table than those of Venus. This also has an implication. And we’re talking about missions that require decades of preparation. Finally, there are those who complain about the obsession with the surface. It is true that everyone seems more logical to touch the soil of Mars and build a base there to do it on the clouds of Venus. Our biology conditions us. But it is the set of reasons which leads us to develop more of a project than the other. However, this may change. Recall that both propositions are at stake and are being carried forward. What will be the first planet to colonize? Do we make a bet?
June 1, 2016
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