Picture provided by NASA
It has been more than half a century when human space program pertaining to the US nation has gone through various turmoil in respect of two long-range goals namely establishing a proper base on the moon and sending astronauts to Mars. But a bunch of aerospace engineers positioned at NASA’s Langley Research Centre which is located in Hampton have identified a third option for which the nation can start thinking in a positive way, and that is Planet Venus.
The team has initiated various plans and started conducting different tests in the form of a blimp-like airship that would take off with two crew members for one month atop the Venusian cloud tops. The engineers have developed a concept and named it as “High Altitude Venus Operational Concept” or HAVOC which they consider as an aerial colony for long-term atmospheric habitation as well as colonisation. Researchers consider Venus as the second rock from the Sun.
The HAVOC spaceship is somewhat similar to the Lando Calrissian’s fantastical Cloud City from the movie “Star Wars”, but the NASA engineers have firm and clear plans about this spaceship. As per the expert opinion, Venus is the closet of all and is one of the most accessible planets in the entire solar system. The mass, as well as the size of Venus, is pretty much akin to that of Earth. As such Venus becomes a potential place to search for signs of life in our mission to find habitats beyond Earth. Chris Jones who is a mission analyst at the NASA Langley and also the leader at the same time of HAVOC mission has said the atmospheric condition of Venus is one of the most suitable for life among all planets.
However, the statement is doubtful enough to raise eyebrows because of its climatic conditions. The temperature of the planet is around 850 degrees Fahrenheit while the atmospheric pressure at the ground level is pumping at the rate of 1300 pounds per square inch. Moreover, the clouds are filled with sulphuric acid. The planet is nothing more than a dumping ground, as envisaged by Robert Grimm who is a Venus expert.
However, if you move up 30 miles above the Venusian surface, we will witness a marvellous change. The temperature would be 170 degrees F, while the atmospheric pressure will be akin to that on Earth. This is the spot where HAVOC would be setting up its floating camp. Jones has said that although the task is quite challenging it may open up opportunities that we cannot even imagine.