One possibility that Bethnay had shown our group was the idea of colonising Venus, which is a concept which seems really interesting as well as being scientifically plausible in the future.
The idea of space colonization has been a large feature in sci-fi since it’s beginning, and is a really interesting idea to me, and the fact that it can be seen as one of the most sure-fire ways to avoid the extinction of the human race.
Space colonization allows humans to increase the distance between themselves and the possible extinction event which would take place on earth. This reasoning for colonization in space would recommend multiple locations for settlements as this means that there is a lower risk of extinction. For example, if a large impact event occurred on Earth without warning, humanity in it’s current state would be likely to become extinct; all of our art, culture and technology would be lost. Colonizing locations outside of Earth means that as a race, there would be more opportunities for us to survive and recover what’s lost.
Advantages of Venus
- Venus and Earth are very close in size and mass, and because of this they have almost the same surface gravity (Earth: 9.807 m/s² Venus: 8.87 m/s²)
This means that there is less likelihood of health problems related to long-term weightlessness (muscle atrophy, space-flight osteopenia and decreased production of red blood cells for example) compared to other planets such as Mars
- Venus’ relative proximity to Earth (at closest approach, Venus is 40,000,000 km from Earth ) means that transportation and communication between these planets would be much easier than other planets within our solar system. It also means that the flight time between Earth and Venus is shorter than between Earth and Mars (which is 55,000,000 km from Earth at it’s closest approach)
- Launch windows for Venus occur every 584 days, which is much more frequent than Mars’ launch windows which occur 780 days.
- Venus’ atmosphere is comprised mostly of carbon dioxide which can be used to grow food after filtering out the sulphuric acid in the atmosphere
Disadvantages of Venus
- Surface conditions on Venus are difficult to deal with: the average temperature at the equator is around 450 °C (which is higher than the melting point of lead) and there is over 90 times the level of atmospheric pressure (this is equivalent to the pressure experienced under a kilometre of water)
- The atmosphere is lacking oxygen molecules and is made up mainly of no carbon dioxide. The visible clouds over Venus are composed of corrosive sulphuric acid and sulphur dioxide vapour.
- There is no water