Panel

Venus vs. Mars colonization

Venus or Mars colony?  

95 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is better?

    • Venus colony
      26
    • Mars colony
      56
    • Asteroids
      13


Recommended Posts

Because a recent thread was derailed by an argument about whether or not a Venus colony was a good idea or not, I'm going to try to make this a thread for discussion. I, personally am rather biased by landism, so I'd say Mars would be the better choice.

Edited by Panel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can touch the surface of Mars. You can't do that with Venus. Mars>Venus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Hcube said:

You can touch the surface of Mars. You can't do that with Venus. Mars>Venus

Why in the world would you want to? Not much useful on Martian surface. Venusian atmosphere is far more useful for a colony.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, K^2 said:

Why in the world would you want to? Not much useful on Martian surface. Venusian atmosphere is far more useful for a colony.

There is plenty of ancient geology to do, if the place chosen used to be a river or sea. You could have soil and sediments from all over early Mars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Colonization is a silly idea, and way too premature. There is absolutely no social, political, or economical push for colonizing other planets, and no rational reason to do so. Therefore, any discussion about which planet is best to colonize is going to end up being based on conjecture, or worse, on flawed analogies about historical colonies.

A more realistic goal would be to build a small research outpost or just manned exploration.

Edited by Nibb31

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, K^2 said:

Why in the world would you want to? Not much useful on Martian surface. Venusian atmosphere is far more useful for a colony.

Hmm...  because humans beings like to live with feet on the ground, because it offers far more possibilities to expand and allows for some mining/geology, and even underground habitations to protect people from cosmic radiation, because Mars' atmo isn't gonna cut it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Panel said:

Because a recent thread was derailed by an argument about whether or not a Venus colony was a good idea or not, I'm going to try to make this a thread for discussion. I, personally am rather biased by landism, so I'd say Mars would be the better choice.

Landism... So... You watch PBSSpaceTIme?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Hcube said:

Hmm...  because humans beings like to live with feet on the ground, because it offers far more possibilities to expand and allows for some mining/geology, and even underground habitations to protect people from cosmic radiation, because Mars' atmo isn't gonna cut it

How many people do you know that still live with their feet on the ground? Most buildings have at least a basement or a crawl space bellow the first floor. Not to mention the high risers of modern cities. In largest ones, there are places where you can spend majority of the day walking from building to building without ever touching ground. People might think ground is important to them, but once placed in environment far removed from it, nobody thinks about it twice.

Expansion is limited by construction materials anywhere. On Mars you need significant protection from environment. That means significant construction of concrete, metal, and glass above or bellow ground. On Venus, all you need is a light barrier between you and the atmosphere. Construction would be all carbon polymer, which will be plant-derived. While acquisition would be somewhat slower, the amount of material you need to expand would also be greatly reduced. If anything, there would be greater freedom of expansion, since two cloud cities at quite a large distance can be connected by air traffic. Whereas two colonies on Mars would either have to be close together, or you have to undertake the major investment in building covered roads or rail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really believe in any long term plan due lack of predictivity on how will be our progress acceleration, but ignoring that factor and just projecting our current progress speed, then colonization is just something that will come naturally.

The first steps in certain path, are not taken because there is a current need with economic sense right away.. No.. all the first steps are taken before reach those points, because if you don't do it, when you reach those moments you will be many years behind with no solution to deal with a certain problem.
Renewable energy is in development since 30 years ago, when nobody really needed due the low fuel prices..  thanks to that, today we have a tech that is ready to remplace fossil fuels at equal or lower prices.

Population rise, the earth resources cannot sustain the current population if everyone has the same needs as in developed countries.
Each time cost more money and time to obtain some resources with an environmental cost that is also ignored. It all comes to a time when it will be cheaper to obtain those resources or "needs" from outside earth.
First it will be for some metals as platinum or wherever, then it will come other niches.  But eventually, access to space will be as normal or cheap as refuel a vehicle. But if we dont have the experience on how to survive for longer periods of time and what kind of problems might be arise from that, we would not be able to make that step when we more needed.

So the question is.. we should start to make the first steps in that direction with probes and then permanent outpost for scientist?  yes..  What planet has the right conditions to fulfil the future needs.. in my opinion Venus.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, AngelLestat said:

I don't really believe in any long term plan due lack of predictivity on how will be our progress acceleration, but ignoring that factor and just projecting our current progress speed, then colonization is just something that will come naturally.

The first steps in certain path, are not taken because there is a current need with economic sense right away.. No.. all the first steps are taken before reach those points, because if you don't do it, when you reach those moments you will be many years behind with no solution to deal with a certain problem.
Renewable energy is in development since 30 years ago, when nobody really needed due the low fuel prices..  thanks to that, today we have a tech that is ready to remplace fossil fuels at equal or lower prices.

Population rise, the earth resources cannot sustain the current population if everyone has the same needs as in developed countries.
Each time cost more money and time to obtain some resources with an environmental cost that is also ignored. It all comes to a time when it will be cheaper to obtain those resources or "needs" from outside earth.
First it will be for some metals as platinum or wherever, then it will come other niches.  But eventually, access to space will be as normal or cheap as refuel a vehicle. But if we dont have the experience on how to survive for longer periods of time and what kind of problems might be arise from that, we would not be able to make that step when we more needed.

So the question is.. we should start to make the first steps in that direction with probes and then permanent outpost for scientist?  yes..  What planet has the right conditions to fulfil the future needs.. in my opinion Venus.   

Agreed! I'd give you a like, but I ran out. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think mars is a better plan for colonization, but I am not sure, about that.

While I think that colonization of both of these planets (and of moon) are completely possible, I would rather construct manned research stations at all three locations, each with a crew of perhaps 6 people. Each of these stations should also conduct experiments of gathering resources locally. If some of these stations happen to succeed, we can expand it, eventually into a colony. If not (which I doubt, but nevertheless it is possible), we have at least some nice research stations.

And I strongly believe that constructing these stations will result in general positive effects on earth. Partly, because we will motivate more people to study for a scientific degree. Partly because we can focus people on something else rather than war and money. And it will give us new challenges, which force us to develop new solutions, which can be useful in other situations, as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

Colonization is a silly idea, and way too premature. There is absolutely no social, political, or economical push for colonizing other planets, and no rational reason to do so. Therefore, any discussion about which planet is best to colonize is going to end up being based on conjecture, or worse, on flawed analogies about historical colonies.

A more realistic goal would be to build a small research outpost or just manned exploration.

Yes, an Mars base has the benefit of having scientists doing the research hands on and technicians fix problems. Lots more resources like dirt and water ice close. 

An Venus base would only have the benefit of no lightspeed delays for stuff on the surface, an mars base has the same benefit but with an bonus that you can recover stuff, an rover breaks down and you drive or fly to it, fix it or take it back. 

You can not return from Venus surface and anything breaks down in an matter of hours, lightspeed delay don't matter much for experiments in the atmosphere or in orbit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mars:
Pros:
- Can actually land.
- Actual ground science possible.
- Has a light atmosphere to areobrake.
- 24.3 hour day
- Resources harvest from ground and atmosphere.
- Can actually return to Earth from surface.
- If a hab fails then the crew could potentially fix it .

Con:
- Really cold
- Hard to land without propulsion
- Lower solar panel energy production.
 

Venus:
Pros:
- Earth-like pressure in upper atmosphere.
- Higher solar panel energy production from above the clouds.
- Thick atmosphere to areobrake.

Cons:
- Extremely high pressure at the surface.
- Extremely hot surface.
- 1 Venus day is 116 Earth days and 18 hours.
- No way to harvest water, or any other resource from Venus, Except for rocket fuel.
- Very corrosive atmosphere.
- No feasible of returning home*.
- If a blimp fails then the crew doomed.

*Launching rockets from a blimp is not proven to work, let alone feasible.

So clearly Mars is the better option.

Edited by Albert VDS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Launching rockets from an blimp would be fun, first you will need an orbital rocket with storeable fuel able to take 2-3 crew back to orbit and dock with mothership,
soyuz is probably the best excample, yes you might be able to cut some weight but soyuz is not designed to be air dropped nor stored in an container during atmospheric reentry. Solid fuel would also work but is heavier and you can not launch the fuel separat.

Now have fun trying to man rate this thing, its an special use launcher who has no other purpose, more fun no escape system as it would be pointless. 
Next up is getting the rocket itself up to obit, you would need an special launcher for this.

Idea is insane even in KSP.

Now an venus sample return is borderland plausible in the serena orbiter kind of way, far lighter rocket, might be possible to use an submarine ICBM and no need for man rating. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Albert VDS said:

...

Venus:
Pros:
- Earth-like pressure in upper atmosphere.
...

Cons:
...
- 1 Venus day is 116 Earth days and 18 hours.
...

In this height, the atmosphere rotates much faster around venus than the 116 earth days. I think it was something around 10 hours. So this disadvantage is not that big at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For now? Mars is the better option.

Once we get the tech level of around what is available in Green Mars? Venus starts to edge out.

The hardest part with Venus is you have two major scaled operations you need to attempt. The first is something akin to a giant solar shield to drop the temperature of Venus as low as you can make it, this will drop a lot of the various problematic gasses out of the atmosphere into solid forms more conducive to sequestration. The second is that unless you want to live forever with the threat that your solar shield could be destroyed or disabled at any moment, thus resulting in the loss of the planet, you will need to set up a series of very powerful and rather precise asteroid strikes to get the planet to have something approximating a normal day. It doesn't need to be actually anywhere too close to 24 hours, I believe I remembered reading that a Venusian day of around 5 Earth days is just slow enough that at high latitudes a biosphere could take hold with minimal prompting (assuming a good gas mix of course), but the closer you get to around 20 hours the better for heat exchange reasons. Anywhere in the 20-34 hour per day range provides you with just enough "cooling time" out of sun for your biosphere to take up a reasonable fraction of the planetary surface.

Personally I am of the opinion that if you want to go about it, start with the asteroid collisions for the spin up, it's entirely possible that as you decrease the day, and thus drop the temperature, the gasses will sort themselves out to a level that means you can perform some more "normal" terraforming methods rather than having to also do the sunshield.

The two biggest reasons why Venus EVENTUALLY is the better candidate are that the gravity more closely approximates Earth's, and it has a native magnetic field powerful enough to provide decent radiation shielding. However the difficulties inherent in getting the planet to a usable state mean that Mars is just a far better candidate until our space infrastructure is present enough to start actually performing some mega-scale engineering. Mars does not require this to begin colonization operations with minimal risk. Sure, burying the colonies and such will be a bit of a pain for radiation reasons, but that is far from undo-able. Venusian floating cities have greater issues, both in the inherent engineering required (you need all the same engineering of the Mars systems, but it must ALSO fly AND withstand occasionally exposure to a much more corrosive atmosphere) and because short of "cloud city mining" there isn't really any nearby natural resources you can easily snag to help expand and other ISRU activities.

A big problem for both planets is going to end up being the lack of nitrogen and other similar gasses. Yes, Venus has a nice voluminous atmosphere with a load of CO2, ready for conversion, but you cannot have too pure of an O2 atmosphere without great problems in terms of flammability, but you also cannot leave too much CO2 there as that is toxic for most Earth animals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Motokid600 said:

"The Venusian" When the airlock blew off Mark Watney fell 50km to his death.

The end.

Correction. When the airlock blew, Mark thought, 'Hm, good thing there is no pressure differential. I should get around to fixing it some time, though."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, K^2 said:

Correction. When the airlock blew, Mark thought, 'Hm, good thing there is no pressure differential. I should get around to fixing it some time, though."

Or actually it wont blow and just seep in unwanted gasses, but such gasses would be detected before they get to lethal quantities.

Edited by Albert VDS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, K^2 said:

Correction. When the airlock blew, Mark thought, 'Hm, good thing there is no pressure differential. I should get around to fixing it some time, though."

As he was falling to his death.

You have ground on Mars. Its really as simple as that. "landism" yes... because we are land creatures. Let me know when we grow wings then maybe a Venus colony would be better. I understand your analogy about buildings and how humans don't literally have there feet on the ground. But heres the thing. From the top of said building you can look down and see the ground. You know that if there was a problem you can escape to that ground and it wont kill you ( unless you jumped ). Yes the Martian surface isn't "safe" but should something go wrong with the HAB like in the Martian you have much more time to fix the issue. Because you or the entire colony isn't plummeting. There is no escape. No surface. You are at the mercy of the structure that supports you and the limited surface area it provides.

And all in all. Its easier to build things from the ground on the ground instead of from the atmosphere in the atmosphere. I like ground. Ground is great. You can walk on it and should you fall from a standing height it will catch you.

You should give ground more credit.

b2f03ae0033a8290829ea581a539b7e4.jpg

Edited by Motokid600

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Motokid600 said:

As he was falling to his death.

You have ground on Mars. Its really as simple as that. "landism" yes... because we are land creatures. Let me know when we grow wings then maybe a Venus colony would be better. I understand your analogy about buildings and how humans don't literally have there feet on the ground. But heres the thing. From the top of said building you can look down and see the ground. You know that if there was a problem you can escape to that ground and it wont kill you ( unless you jumped ). Yes the Martian surface isn't "safe" but should something go wrong with the HAB like in the Martian you have much more time to fix the issue. Because you or the entire colony isn't plummeting. There is no escape. No surface. You are at the mercy of the structure that supports you and the limited surface area it provides.

And all in all. Its easier to build things from the ground on the ground instead of from the atmosphere in the atmosphere. I like ground. Ground is great. You can walk on it and should you fall from a standing height it will catch you.

You should give ground more credit.

b2f03ae0033a8290829ea581a539b7e4.jpg

We don't have much experience with long life floating installations, closest is airships who we don't use anymore because of high accident rate and tethered balloons who are brought down for maintenance regularly. 
Both settings are week long operations. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed. On that note do we have any idea what the wind conditions would be like at Venus's terminator?

Edited by Motokid600

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Motokid600 said:

As he was falling to his death.

You have ground on Mars. Its really as simple as that. "landism" yes... because we are land creatures. Let me know when we grow wings then maybe a Venus colony would be better. I understand your analogy about buildings and how humans don't literally have there feet on the ground. But heres the thing. From the top of said building you can look down and see the ground. You know that if there was a problem you can escape to that ground and it wont kill you ( unless you jumped ). Yes the Martian surface isn't "safe" but should something go wrong with the HAB like in the Martian you have much more time to fix the issue. Because you or the entire colony isn't plummeting. There is no escape. No surface. You are at the mercy of the structure that supports you and the limited surface area it provides.

And all in all. Its easier to build things from the ground on the ground instead of from the atmosphere in the atmosphere. I like ground. Ground is great. You can walk on it and should you fall from a standing height it will catch you.

You should give ground more credit.

b2f03ae0033a8290829ea581a539b7e4.jpg

I can see your point, and I agree that a sky colony does depend on systems that, if they fail, will cause you to fall to your death, but you got one thing wrong. The reason that the airlock cannoned in the Martian was the temperature difference. On Venus, the airlock wouldn't have flown outward and thrown him to his death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.