Comment 2WBN Re: Insane idea


NASA envisons an airborne colony on Venus, before Mars


Insane idea (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-12-22 19:10 (#2W98)

The cloud deck just happens to start at the postulated 50 km, and those clouds are composed of SULPHURIC ACID. How is the structure, necessarily extremely lightweight, going to withstand that kind of environment? There are also very high wind speeds.

On the surface, the idea is tantalizing, but even a cursory review of some of the gotchas pretty well relegates it to pure fantasy.

Re: Insane idea (Score: 1)

by on 2014-12-23 02:23 (#2W9N)

Many plastics are resistant to sulfuric acid and for metals there are coatings and/or passivation techniques to reduce corrosion. Also "lightweight" is relative since the atmosphere is hundreds of times as dense as Earth's.

Re: Insane idea (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-12-23 10:49 (#2WA5)

Generally you are right. Sulfuric acid can be handled just fine.... under normal conditions on Earth. But on Venus? Constant high temperatures? Hard UV radiation? I'd say this rules out most normally usable plastics. Before people are put into such a balloon, I'd like to see them at least for a few years floating over Venus... UNMANNED.

Re: Insane idea (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-12-24 18:45 (#2WBN)

If the atmosphere really does offer good protection from radiation at that altitude, there should be plastics that can handle the UV. These wouldn't be the everyday plastics that make up your deck furniture, but there are lots of plastic additives that can modify the UV stability of a polymer without changing its performance.


Time Reason Points Voter
2014-12-24 22:45 Interesting +1

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