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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Going to Venus (Part-1)

NASA's ambition to build the 'floating city' over the clouds of Venus
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to India's ISRO busy to send a satellite, and the daredevil astronauts who were prepared to run a one-way mission, Curiosity rover sent to the surface to look for signs of life there, if we can detect alien's life in there. Now the Red Planet to be excellent space exploration goals.

As a close neighbor of the Earth and its similarity to human habitation, the Red Planet is the best destination for human exploration of outer space. However, in terms of distance, it is not the best candidate.
Artistic concept of the permanent city over the Venus cloud. (Picture from: http://cnet.co/1E18mht)
Another neighbors of the Earth, Venus is closer, between 38 to 261 million kilometers. Meanwhile, Mars is in the 56 to 401 million. Venus was almost the same size of the Earth, also has the density and chemical composition are almost similar. However, why the planet takes its name from the goddess of love was not a priority of human expedition?

It was not easy to reach the Venus. Man-made satellites were sent to the surface, the longest is only 2 hours, before perishing due to the severity of the condition on the planet. The harsh conditions including atmospheric pressure is 92 times greater than the Earth, the air temperature reaches 462 degrees Celsius, which is too fierce volcanic activity, extreme density of the atmosphere composed mostly of carbon dioxide, a little nitrogen, and a layer of clouds made of acid sulfate.
To cope with the extreme conditions, NASA racked the brain and finally found a way that allows people examine closely the Venus. Namely, building a floating city on the top layer of very reflective sulfuric acid of the Venus clouds which makes the surface of the planet can not be seen clearly from space.

The scientists from the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA's Langley Research Center to design a concept spaceship called The High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) for use in missions to the Venus.

As quoted from CNET on Monday, December 22, 2014, a lighter rocket than air is designed to float on a cloud that envelops Venus for a period of 30 days, which allows teams of astronauts to collect data about the planet's atmosphere.

Unlike on the surface of Venus that will kill a human, by floating on a cloud, at an altitude of 50 kilometers, the conditions experienced there similar to Earth - where almost the same atmospheric pressure and gravity are only slightly lower than our planet. These conditions allow the astronauts to stay relatively long, also effectively eliminates the side effects that often occur during a stay in a long time in zero gravity conditions.

The temperature at the altitude ranges from 75 degrees Celsius, which is much hotter than Earth, but can still be controlled. Being in the atmosphere of Venus at that height also offers protection from the sun's radiation (to be Continued). *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CNET]
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