Manned "Cloudbase" in Venus Atmosphere

Michel Van

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Cloudbase is the fictional skyborne headquarters of international security organisation Spectrum,
from Gerry Anderson's science fiction television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons

Years later the British Interplanetary Society proposed so a Cloudbase, but for Atmosphere of Venus !
In the recent years Geoffrey A. Landis of NASA's Glenn Research Center, proposed it again as Aerostat habitats.
flying in 50 km over the helluva hot surface.
In this high the Venus atmosphere got same pressure as on Earth and is composed mainly of carbon dioxide,
a Aerostat filled with Air (Oxygen-Nitrogen mixture) has here 60% of the lifting power that helium has on Earth.

but the Soviets had already the same ideas in 1971

source Technica Molodezhi TM - 9 1971
also this
Manned Aerostate Base in the Venus planet and mezoplane - Almanach I Want To Learn All - Хочу все знать - Leningrad 1981
http://scienseillustrations.mypage.ru/2286548.html












 

Michel Van

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Pem Tech said:
Fascinating!
You wouldn't happen to have an English translation for the Russian text would you?

Nope
but i start to learn to understand and read Russian, it will take some time...
 

Orionblamblam

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Michel Van said:
a Aerostat filled with Air (Oxygen-Nitrogen mixture) has here 60% of the lifting power that helium has on Earth.
Floating colonies on Venus would in some ways be easier and chemically better off than colonies on Mars. You would be *above* the clouds, so the sunlight would be *really* bright... good for plant growth and solar power. Additionally, the greenhouse effect within the balloon would make it not only a "lifting gas" balloon, but a hot air balloon. At the altitude where the pressure is the same as on Earth, the temperature is quite mild... human-livable (I've forgotten exactly what).

Long tethered "harvesters" could be lowered to the clouds, where sulfuric acid could be collected. From that you can obtain water, hydrogen and sulfur. Carbon and nitrogen can be collected from the air. Minerals would be a problem, but could be dropped from space or, with a whole lot of effort, scraped from the surface.

With hydrogen, carbon and sulfur, a number of structural plastics could be made.

An obvious economy might be using locally made carbon composites to build simple rockets fueled with oxygen and hydrogen and/or an oxygen and sulfur/hydrocarbon hybrid to throw water to a mining base on Mercury, which uses the water locally as well as turnign it into rocket fuel to send metals and minerals back to Venus.
 

RanulfC

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"Bonus" actually from having the habitat's just above the cloud layer:

Sunlight reflection from the cloud deck is high enough that having solar cells facing "down" would produce almost as much power as those faceing the sun itself :)

(Scott, IIRC the temp at @50km is around 100F :)

Randy
 

chuck4

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The problem with a cloud base is you literally have a bring in all the material for everything needed to fabricate it and maintain it. What's the point of any colony which can't live off the land and has to be fully supported from the mother country/planet?
 

Orionblamblam

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chuck4 said:
The problem with a cloud base is you literally have a bring in all the material for everything needed to fabricate it and maintain it.
The *first* one, yes. The primary job of colony #1 would be the manufacture of other colonies. Carbon and hydrogen would form the bulk of the structural materials, of course... metals would be scarce as would be a lot of the trace elements needed for life. These would, at least initially, have to be brought from Earth, the Moon, asteroids, whatever. But the nature of the colony would be a closed ecology, so these materials would be constantly recycled. Hydrogen fluoride is present in tiny quantities int he atmosphere, but processing this out would provide the feedstock for teflon, which would be rather vital in that environment.

Each new colony would spread the metals and minerals thinner. This would be an incentive to work out how to obtain them locally. Until such time as terraforming makes manned ventures to the surface feasible, unmanned systems would be the only option. It seems to me that at least initially, the easiest approach would be to simply lower some sort of scraper and bucket to the surface at the end of a long tether, and just scoop up whatever happens to be there. An 80 km long tether than can survive the temperatures and sulfuric acis would be an interesting engineering excercise, of course. The scooper could be somethign as straightforward as a reinforced carbon-carbon box with a bulldozer lip. You might only get a few hundred pounds of crap with each scoop, and each scoop might be a process taking a week or more; but in a closed ecology, a few hundred pounds of trace elements per week might be adequate.

A staged approach using a blimp that can go much lower would shorten the tether length and lower the mass.

You may want to position the colonies above the sulfuric acid cloud layer... above 70 km or so. At that altitude, the temperature is a chilly -40 degrees (F *and* C... a brisk North Dakota winter) and the atmospheric pressure is about 0.04 atmospheres. Consequently, you'd need more lifting gas than just air. Fortunately, hydrogen is abundant and basically non-reactive with the carbon dioxide atmosphere. On the other hand, at 55 km altitude, the temperature is 27 degrees C and the pressure is about half an atmosphere. But you'd be embeeded within the acid clouds. Bleah.
 

Michel Van

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after the several sources in Internet, is Venus atmosphere in 50 km high around 0°C to 75°C or 32 to 167°F
most information tell that the acid clouds begins in over this high and there a only sulfuric acid "haze"

but that is Wikipedia, I must look in some Astronomy books

carbon dioxide in Venus Atmosphere can be used as oxidizer, if you use Diborane (H6B2) or Silane (SIH4) as fuel, the mixtures are hypergolic on contact !
 

Archibald

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Geoffrey A. Landis

One of the rare fans of Venus out there - in fact he is somewhat Venus' Zubrin. He had cool proposals for Venus aircrafts, rovers, and even sample return. He wrote sci-fi books.
Personally I'd like to see a manned mission to the Sun-Venus L2 libration point, perhaps it could be a first step in the direction of the cloud city mentioned here.
Btw, I really like the look of the Soviet - Venusian "C-17" thing. Reminds me of Hayao Miyazaki flying things.
http://f.mypage.ru/88ab445b5cae9f3ae824d2c19df8800a_cda53ef710f71df0fb370f83e587bf99.jpg
 

Foxglove

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Everything's fine, but nobody here has mentioned the practically absent Venus magnetosphere; no magnetosphere, no protection from UV and cosmic radiation. Ergo, the crew of the cloud base would have to work in shifts, returning to Earth after each shift to avoid overexposure to radiation.
 

Michel Van

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Foxglove said:
Everything's fine, but nobody here has mentioned the practically absent Venus magnetosphere; no magnetosphere, no protection from UV and cosmic radiation. Ergo, the crew of the cloud base would have to work in shifts, returning to Earth after each shift to avoid overexposure to radiation.
Most of cosmic radiation is filter by the Atmosphere and the acid clouds
for the UV-Light is not so big problem, if the Cloudbase stay under the acid clouds cover at 50 km hight
but then has the cloudbase some corrosion phenomena

Archibald said:
Geoffrey A. Landis, One of the rare fans of Venus out there - in fact he is somewhat Venus' Zubrin. He had cool proposals for Venus aircrafts, rovers, and even sample return. He wrote sci-fi books.
try his story "The Sultans of the Clouds", free on this podcast Part 1-3 http://www.starshipsofa.com/blog/2011/08/30/starshipsofa-no-201-geoffrey-a-landis-pt1/

apropos Sci-fi Aerostat habitats
next to venus were also story about Aerostat habitats in Saturn atmosphere
were ever serious proposal made for a Saturn Cloudbase ?

thx for note, pol
 

Michel Van

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now i begin to understand, pol
no no no, you not offended me ;)

back to topic
found infomation about Venus atmosphere in 50 km high
in 1986 the Soviet VeGa 1&2 drop 2 landers and 2 french ballon probe on venus

the French probe reach a high of 54-55 km
air pressure 0.5 Atm, temperature +40°C~+48°C, windspeed 240 km/h - 104°F~118°F, windspeed 149 mph
the balloons rapid drop and rise 300 meter - 984 ft, in one case even 1.5 km down, almost one miles

Source:
Sowjet-Raumfahrt
Rudolf Hofstätter
ISBN 3-7643-1998-4
 

RanulfC

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Archibald said:
Geoffrey A. Landis

One of the rare fans of Venus out there - in fact he is somewhat Venus' Zubrin. He had cool proposals for Venus aircrafts, rovers, and even sample return. He wrote sci-fi books.
Personally I'd like to see a manned mission to the Sun-Venus L2 libration point, perhaps it could be a first step in the direction of the cloud city mentioned here.
Btw, I really like the look of the Soviet - Venusian "C-17" thing. Reminds me of Hayao Miyazaki flying things.
http://f.mypage.ru/88ab445b5cae9f3ae824d2c19df8800a_cda53ef710f71df0fb370f83e587bf99.jpg
I've had many an "interesting" conversation with various "Mars-Firsters" (some down right hostile ones at times :) ) over the idea of colonizing Venus. I'm surprised no one (especially Archibald here :) ) linked to the Dr. Landis ' paper on Colonizing Venus:
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20030022668_2003025525.pdf

A slide set for a Presentation in 2008 on a aircraft/surface rover combined exploration concept and the various problems and possible solutions for the Venus environment:
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20090001338_2008047211.pdf

"Evaluation of Long Duration Flight on Venus" 2006 paper
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20060056388_2006258495.pdf

And of course he's not the "only" one. Lunar Miner Manifesto proponent and author Peter Kokh wrote and collected a series of articles on "Rehabilitation Venus as a Human Destination" that can be found here:
http://www.moonsociety.org/publications/mmm_papers/venus_rehabpaper.htm

Most of the "conflict" seems to stem from the base-line assumption that there can/will only "be-one" destination/goal for future space flight. So any suggestions of destinations like Venus are seen as direct competition against the Moon or Mars. Which I find short-sighted to say the least :)

Randy
 

Michel Van

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a BIG THX to pol , for new Data !!!



Here from BBC movie "space odyssey: voyage to the planets"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbKrPmb0Ljw


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uonRIB3vbtw


I belief strongly, that first Human landing on Venus will be a Russian !
 

Archibald

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Most of the "conflict" seems to stem from the base-line assumption that there can/will only "be-one" destination/goal for future space flight. So any suggestions of destinations like Venus are seen as direct competition against the Moon or Mars. Which I find short-sighted to say the least
Well, that's the reason why I fell in love with Earth Moon L1 - the crossroads of space. Place a space station there, and you can go anywhere from it - any destination. It is a much more modest goal than a lunar / Mars surface mission, much less expensive to "sell" in the first place - yet it doesn't prevent those missions at a later date.
 

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Here's a link to video from above mentioned presentation, the intend to use several solar aircrafts and rovers that can withstand temperatures around 450-500C.
https://rt.grc.nasa.gov/power-in-space-propulsion/photovoltaics-power-technologies/news/venus-mission-design/
I've read that one last year, you can also find a lot of information on a subject in a 2009 Springer book Terraforming - creating habitable worlds by Martin Beech. They discuss several scenarios for Venus, including the one where a part of atmosphere is seeded with hybrid kelp which floats and uses CO2 in order to make oxygen.
 

Michel Van

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NASA Langley Research Center. has study also concept of Cloudbase for Venus

A Project called HAVOC (High Altitude Venus Operational Concept)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0az7DEwG68A

idea:
In 5 step to permanent Venus base
1. test of hardware as Robotic craft
2. 30 days manned mission in Venus Orbit
3. 30 days manned mission in Venus Atmosphere
4. 1 year Manned Mission in Venus Atmosphere
5. Permanent human presence.

source
http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/space-flight/nasa-study-proposes-airships-cloud-cities-for-venus-exploration
 

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carmelo

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But which is the reason to send humans in Venus atmosphere?
And is really possible for an astronaut walking on Venus surface?
 

Michel Van

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carmelo said:
But which is the reason to send humans in Venus atmosphere?
And is really possible for an astronaut walking on Venus surface?
There allot of reason to explore the atmosphere manned
either to study the weather and aerodynamics of Venus atmosphere on-site.
or if there is some sort of lifeforms in atmosphere of Venus to study that close by.
(there are several theory that there could be Bacterial life in the cloud of Venus)

or to quote mountain climber George Mallory: "Because it's there."

yes is theoretical possibly to bring a human in space suit on Venus surface and back.
but the suit need hell of a cooling system and super isolation against heat.
and even then the EVA is short under 30 minutes
like BBC movie "space odyssey: voyage to the planets" feature Manned Landing on Venus
(is scene here, several post earlier with youtube link)
 

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One fun fact that I read out of Landis's articles is that the Nitrox mix required by humans would act as a lifting gas in the Venusian atmosphere.
That would mean that the lift gas envelope could be used as a part of the crew habitat. A crew spending a long duration mission in a cramped cabin would probably find the idea of some extra space attractive.


I couldn't see the benefit of that until I compared it to a orbital mission. A lot of the issues, micro-gravity, cosmic radiation etc would be solved if the crew was floating 50 km above the surface.
 
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Wingknut

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Just in case the video linked to in Michel's (brilliant as ever) posting above should one day become defunct, here are a few snapshots of stages in the deployment of HAVOC, plus an artist's impression of the HAVOC 'cloud base' (again from the NASA / HAVOC site linked to by Michel above).
 

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Michel Van

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pavel said:
Projects of Russian schoolchildren, the development of Venus. Magazine "Young technician" in September 1996.
nice Picture

Sadly, most of ground vehicle are usable for Venusian Surface
but the Cloud Base look a interesting concept
 

Michel Van

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There is a interesting Article about Colonization of Venus
seems the Author had a look in this Forum Topic for Information ;D

http://toughsf.blogspot.com/2016/10/how-to-live-on-other-planets-venus.html
 

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A Question Regarding Phosphorus and Venus

I recently did a blog post on Project HAVOC and linked to a recent paper that reviews the data from the Soviet Venus probes. Their spectroscopy of the Venusian atmosphere seems to indicate gaseous Phosphorus in increasing concentrations as one goes lower ending up at equal or greater concentrations than the atmospheric Sulfur below about 52KM altitude.

This seems to indicate a vast reserve of phosphorus. I don't know what reagents would be necessary, but even if it is bound up in phosphine or phosphoric acid, Venus has lots of solar power. Phosphorus availability is considered a real bottleneck to space settlement and even Terrestrial carrying capacity. Thus, Venusian gas mines floating in the clouds might actually be a sustainable, even lucrative business model. The ability to get water via cracking the acids, phosphorus, abundant light and CO2 mean that floating farms, possibly exporting food on a large scale are a possibility.

However.

It belatedly dawned on me that I've never seen this mentioned anywhere and I'm sure that others with more expertise than me have looked at this.

What am I missing?

The study is attached.
My post is here if anyone wants to point out any errors I might have made. http://brickmuppet.mee.nu/project_havoc
(link fixed)
 

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sferrin

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/nasa-plan-cloud-city-made-airships-floating-venus-115411050.html
 

Brickmuppet

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One of my commenters just linked to these two old posts by Jon Goff (Of Selenian Boondocks) on Venusian Industrial Chemistry.

https://selenianboondocks.com/2013/12/venus-isru-gas-phase-processes/
https://selenianboondocks.com/2013/12/venus-isru-isru-development-phases/

I still haven't found any academic papers on the matter.
 

Archibald

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Now that's interesting. Well I suppose the main drawback is Venus gravity pull, which is as bad as Earth, since they are the same size and mass. The huge issue would be to get the processed phosphorus out of Venus gravity well. It is a giant PITA on Earth for any SSTO, and it must be the exact, same giant PITA on Venus.

Going from a Venus floating cloudbase station to Venus orbit or escape is very similar to air-launching a planetary probe on Earth. Balloons or aircraft substract less than 1 km/s of delta-v, but escaping from the planet takes 11 km/s, plus that's logarithm, not decimal, so far worse than "11 times", closer from 15 or 20 times the energy.

It essentially boils down to
7.7 km/s from Earth surface to Earth orbit, minus drag and gravity losses (balloons change nothing compared to surface), so +1.5 km/s, total 9.2 km/s. Then that's Earth orbit, Earth escape is 11.2 km/s, so that's +2 km/s.
Venus has the exact same issue - the delta-v must be extremely similar since, while Venus is a little smaller than Earth, its atmosphere is thick chicken soup so drag losses must be worse than Earth.

As much as I like HAVOC sheer coolness factor, the huge issue would be for the crew capsule to lift-off from the zeppelin and to accelerate to Venus escape velocity - 11 km/s or bust ! A manned capsule is one hell of a heavy thing (20 000 to 50 000 pounds) and the rocket to launch it to 11 km/s is pretty huge, and the whole thing hangs on a Zeppelin ? Really ?
Admittedly, airships have far more lift on Venus than Earth because the atmosphere is extremely dense. But if one compare with Stratolaunch, then you need some kind of "Stratolaunch Zeppelin" to launch a 250 mt ton rocket, Delta II size, with a 12 000 pound capsule (and 12 000 pounds is a Soyuz-size capsule, very very small). And then, not even sure it can even reach Venus orbit, minus escape velocity.
 
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