Forget about Mars, we’re going to Venus now

Scientists believe Venus could be inhabitable by humans one day, but could it be a better alternative to Mars?

For years scientists have been studying Mars to determine whether humans could colonise the red planet, as Earth is destroyed by its ever-growing population.

But to call Mars ‘inhabitable’ is a stretch. The planet’s surface is one huge desert, with a single speck of dust poisonous enough to cause cancer. We’d have to live underground and never see the light of day, just to avoid the planet’s deadly levels of radiation.

Venus’ surface | Credit: NASA

So moving on to the next best option, Earth’s other neighbouring planet. If you read about Venus on a travel brochure, it would probably say something along the lines of, “Beautiful tropic destination with awe-inspiring volcanos and a heart-warming atmosphere.” 

Except the atmosphere won’t just warm your heart, it would completely crush all of your organs. And if 463.85 ℃ can pass as tropical, then at least that part is accurate.

Then there are the volcanos which cover the entire surface of the planet… and they’re all extremely active. But if you need to wash the volcanic ash off your body, there’s plenty of rain to keep you clean – but maybe just close your eyes because it’s highly acidic.

To avoid all of those highly attractive features, we’re not going to live on the surface on Venus, we’re just going to build floating cities in the planet’s atmosphere… duh.

Apparently, the Venusian atmosphere has similar conditions to Earth when it comes to gravity and radiation levels. You wouldn’t need to wear a spacesuit, just a permanent oxygen mask, and it’s only a stone’s throw away, taking just 97 days to arrive.

One of the boffins at NASA, Geoffrey A. Landis reckons colonising Venus isn’t actually such a crazy idea. He envisions a floating city full of giant balloons that contain enough oxygen for humans to comfortably breathe.

It sounds like a great setting for a Jules Verne novel, but it’s extremely unnerving that we’ve destroyed a perfect planet to the extent where scientists are genuinely considering life in a giant floating condom.