Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Technology => Topic started by: opportunity on 02/03/2018 12:48:52

Title: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: opportunity on 02/03/2018 12:48:52
I'm thinking its more logical to colonise Venus than Mars.....

Hear me out.

Land a craft especially built to contract that takes use of the pressure, that slowly compresses to create all the necessary energy needed to support life.....that uses the compression energy of Venus' atmosphere.

Any ideas?

Do that long enough, the compression goes, time to leave the capsule. Wouldn't try that 50,000 leagues under the sea of course......nothing to look forward to.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: alancalverd on 02/03/2018 13:42:29
Surface temperature of Venus is 460C, Mars around -40C. No problem keeping warm (lots of people live in the Arctic and we regularly fly at -40 to -60) major problem keeping cool.

The surface of Mars is well mapped, pretty much like a terrestrial cold desert. Venus may not even be solid as far as we know.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: opportunity on 02/03/2018 13:50:04
Surface temperature of Venus is 460C, Mars around -40C. No problem keeping warm (lots of people live in the Arctic and we regularly fly at -40 to -60) major problem keeping cool.

The surface of Mars is well mapped, pretty much like a terrestrial cold desert. Venus may not even be solid as far as we know.




You're absolutely right......what's the point of going to a pressure cooker planet versus something that is stale?
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Bored chemist on 02/03/2018 14:04:03
Surface pressure on Venus is about 90 Bar.
That's equivalent to about 9 MJ per cubic metre of "crushed" vessel.
To put that in context, the food I eat each day gives me about the same energy.

Good luck running the air con with so little energy.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: chiralSPO on 02/03/2018 15:01:55
Venus may not even be solid as far as we know.
Umm... Both the Soviets and Americans landed probes on the surface. It's solid. We also have radar maps of the whole surface https://sos.noaa.gov/datasets/venus-topography/

photos from landers:
ftp://public.sos.noaa.gov/astronomy/venus/landings/venera13.jpg
ftp://public.sos.noaa.gov/astronomy/venus/landings/venera14.jpg

I have heard that it might make more sense to colonize the upper atmosphere of Venus, where the temperatures and pressures are more manageable and there is more solar power available than one could shake a stick at (it would still need to be entirely enclosed, as the atmosphere is quite toxic).
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: opportunity on 02/03/2018 15:52:20
Exactly.

Design a craft that compacts under the pressure and coverts that compaction into life sustaining energy......slowly...

Am I wrong in thinking Mars is a far worse petri dish of research potential?
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: syhprum on 02/03/2018 16:22:44
I am horrified by the thought that humans might be landed on Mars this planet is the best example of virgin biology that is within easy reach, if humans land on it will be very quickly colonised by Earth type bacteria .
we are rapidly lousing up one planet do we need to spoil a second one? 
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Kryptid on 02/03/2018 17:13:44
Design a craft that compacts under the pressure and coverts that compaction into life sustaining energy......slowly...

Bored Chemist already addressed that such energy would be pretty small and not very useful. Once your spacecraft finishes contracting under that pressure, then that's it. There's no more energy to be extracted that way.

It would also be significantly more difficult to do a return mission from Venus to Earth than it would be to do one from Mars to Earth, due to the substantially higher gravity and atmospheric density on Venus vs. Mars.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Ophiolite on 02/03/2018 19:52:32
I am horrified by the thought that humans might be landed on Mars this planet is the best example of virgin biology that is within easy reach, if humans land on it will be very quickly colonised by Earth type bacteria .
we are rapidly lousing one planet do we need to spoil a second one? 
We do not even know if it has a biology to be loused up.
If it does, that biology has had three or four billion years to become acclimated to conditions. The poor old terrestrial bacteria might not stand a chance.
If there is an extant biology we don't know that it has sufficient similarity to be in competition.
If it is a concern, it is probably already to late. The sterilisation processes for the spacecraft that have landed there are, I think, acknowledged to be less than 100% effective. There are already terrestrial microbes on Mars.

On the other hand, even with no biosphere, one can make an argument for not corrupting the exisitng environment. Kim Stanley Robinson develops this argument and the one for terraforming the planet, in his excellent Mars trilogy. (Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars)
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: opportunity on 03/03/2018 00:20:26
I was throwing the idea out there loosely to get some pro's and con's for exploration on Mars versus Venus for instance. Take Venus, what type of space-ship structure is required to land safely and live in that structure? Understandably heat and pressure would be an issue, yet can that heat and pressure be used extract energy for the space-craft to maintain itself? Furthermore, does Venus have relatively colder regions, polar regions for instance making a mission more possible?
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Bored chemist on 03/03/2018 03:13:43
I was throwing the idea out
You should have stopped there.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Kryptid on 03/03/2018 05:38:31
I was throwing the idea out there loosely to get some pro's and con's for exploration on Mars versus Venus for instance.

Our current technology level would probably make Mars the better choice for colonization, but you're right that we shouldn't count Venus out entirely. In terms of human acclimatization, its gravity is much closer to Earth's than that of Mars. Its thick atmosphere is rich in carbon dioxide, nitrogen and sulfur compounds which could prove useful. It also gets much more solar energy than Mars (at least in orbit. I'm not sure how much it gets at the surface).

Quote
Take Venus, what type of space-ship structure is required to land safely and live in that structure?

Something very durable and therefore very heavy, which would make it significantly more expensive than a rocket to Mars with a similar mission profile. I think I'd prefer to have a base built deep underground on Venus where it is no doubt much cooler.

Quote
Understandably heat and pressure would be an issue, yet can that heat and pressure be used extract energy for the space-craft to maintain itself?

The pressure thing has been addressed, and the high temperature is useless as a power source unless you have a temperature gradient to work with. Wind turbines designed with similar materials to the refractory alloys used in jet engines might prove sufficient to draw power from the slow (yet dense) wind on Venus. A fission reactor could prove sufficient as well (though I'm not sure if mining for fissile material on Venus is feasible. Almost certainly not at the moment. You'd have to get fuel shipped in from Earth or maybe the Moon).

Quote
Furthermore, does Venus have relatively colder regions, polar regions for instance making a mission more possible?

The temperature on Venus' surface is much more uniform than on Earth due to the thicker atmosphere distributing heat very well. However, there are certain places that are better than others. Maxwell Montes is a bit cooler than the lower areas of Venus (380 degrees Celsius vs. 462 degrees Celsius) and has a lower pressure (44-45 bars vs. 90-92 bars). Much higher in the atmosphere, the temperature and pressure combinations are actually rather Earth-like. That has led to the idea of having floating cities at these altitudes. Such a thing isn't going to happen for a long time, however.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: alancalverd on 03/03/2018 08:06:06
I am tempted to ask why.

Mars is of scientific interest because it may have had recognisable life at some time, or may be ripe for sustaining life in future, so it can give us insights into biogenesis and evolution. We are most unlikely to discover anything on Venus that isn't already known to physics and chemistry.

If the objective is to colonise another planet, again the question why applies: human exploration of Earth has been driven by famine, politics and religion, none of which need to exist in the future, and scientific curiosity. The latter will probably persist for as long as intelligent life can fight off parasites and teenagers with machine guns, but it hasn't led to colonisation in places of scientific curiosity: if anything, we try to keep the poles, mountains, deserts and deep oceans fairly pristine. But if irrationality should win in the long term (and the signs are already present), the whole point of colonisation is to introduce homo sapiens and all its accompaniments like agriculture, pathogens and general pollution.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Bored chemist on 03/03/2018 13:04:44
where it is no doubt much cooler.
Why?
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Kryptid on 03/03/2018 14:45:23
where it is no doubt much cooler.
Why?

I was going by analogy that Earth is cooler underground than on its surface (until you dig deep enough that geothermal effects become important). Though now you have brought it up, perhaps my reasoning was incorrect. I imagine heat conducted from the hot atmosphere would keep the Venusian subsurface pretty hot as well.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: evan_au on 03/03/2018 21:58:35
Quote from: Kryptid
more solar energy than Mars (at least in orbit. I'm not sure how much it gets at the surface)
I understand that almost no visible light makes it through that thick soup of an atmosphere - it is almost all reflected (which is why venus is so bright in the sky).

It is a very intense infra-red environment, at high temperatures, which makes solar cells very inefficient anyway.

Quote from: Kryptid
temperature gradient ...A fission reactor
A fission reactor would be quite inefficient, as there are no oceans of cool water (with water's high heat capacity).

Your "cold" sink is the atmosphere, at around 400C. That greatly reduces the efficiency of the reactor, and places the components under much greater thermal stress.

Quote from: opportunity
Quote
Take Venus, what type of space-ship structure is required to land safely and live in that structure?
Kryptid: Something very durable and therefore very heavy,
Bigelow has an inflatable module attached to the International Space station, withstanding the vacuum of space, extremes of day/night temperature, and micrometeorites. The internal atmospheric pressure inflates it. This structure is very light compared to its volume.

Mars has almost a vacuum on the surface (1% of Earth-normal), but the thin atmosphere provides protection from the micrometeorites, and reduces the extremes of day/night temperature variation. This would be a great location for a Bigelow module.

Anything on Venus would need to be built like a deep-ocean submarine, to withstand the severe external crushing forces.

I suggest that we first send rovers, to Earth's Moon (done) and Mars (done), then other parts of the Solar system.
- To send a manned short-term visit, I suggest Earth's Moon (already done), one of Mars' (tiny) moons, and then Mars itself.
- If we were going to set up a more permanent manned base somewhere else (beyond LEO), I vote for the Moon first  (to test  procedures) and then Mars.

I suggest we get a long-term working rover on the surface of Venus long before we try sending humans there. So far, landers have survived only a short time on Venus - and they didn't even try moving anywhere!
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Kryptid on 03/03/2018 22:43:12
A fission reactor would be quite inefficient, as there are no oceans of cool water (with water's high heat capacity).

Your "cold" sink is the atmosphere, at around 400C. That greatly reduces the efficiency of the reactor, and places the components under much greater thermal stress.

Thanks for the information. I had not even considered it.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: opportunity on 04/03/2018 10:36:20
I don't want to sound too extreme, but is there a case for colonizing Venus with microbes......send off lots of earth based microbial activity to do it's work.....especially given it's not possible for us as humans to colonise......can we send in microbes to develop? Or is that unethical? Is it more ethical for us to colonise Mars with humans that stand a less chance than microbes on Venus? Or better still, is it more practical? Humans on Venus doesn't seem practical, yet why should that discount other forms of life on Earth?

What would we do if we had the ability to fly light years and find a planet we could see as a pressure cooker of potential life and we had a handful of microbes, buckets of it, to aim to evolutionise (if there is a word) a planet? Or, we can't do that in our own backyard? It's unethical?

Do we have lifeforms on this planet that like volcanic activity, can sustain it, thrive in it, our own little space ships of colonisation for instance?

If there's no life on Mars, and the place is fairly inert, well, very, Venus seems more logical to land what we can to colonise.

The aim of mining the Moon? That's ethical? And putting microbes on Venus is unethical?
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Colin2B on 04/03/2018 14:22:06
Do we have lifeforms on this planet that like volcanic activity, can sustain it, thrive in it, our own little space ships of colonisation for instance?
Ethics aside, yes plenty of candidates from undersea volcanic fissures known as black smokers.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120806151252.htm

Problems might be their food source and waste -  inhale hydrogen and carbon dioxide to produce methane as waste, not exactly terraforming unless the methane is easily convertible. Im fairly sure others Ive come across have different feeding patterns.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Kryptid on 04/03/2018 14:57:17
I don't want to sound too extreme, but is there a case for colonizing Venus with microbes......send off lots of earth based microbial activity to do it's work.....especially given it's not possible for us as humans to colonise......can we send in microbes to develop? Or is that unethical? Is it more ethical for us to colonise Mars with humans that stand a less chance than microbes on Venus? Or better still, is it more practical? Humans on Venus doesn't seem practical, yet why should that discount other forms of life on Earth?

What would we do if we had the ability to fly light years and find a planet we could see as a pressure cooker of potential life and we had a handful of microbes, buckets of it, to aim to evolutionise (if there is a word) a planet? Or, we can't do that in our own backyard? It's unethical?

Do we have lifeforms on this planet that like volcanic activity, can sustain it, thrive in it, our own little space ships of colonisation for instance?

If there's no life on Mars, and the place is fairly inert, well, very, Venus seems more logical to land what we can to colonise.

The aim of mining the Moon? That's ethical? And putting microbes on Venus is unethical?


Any microbe would be annihilated by Venus' surface conditions. It's just too hot there. They would be able to tolerate temperatures higher in the atmosphere, but the lack of water would be a problem for any life form we know of.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: alancalverd on 04/03/2018 23:15:28
Colonisation is fundamentally unethical from the point of view of the host. Whatever you do, and however thoughtfully you do it, you have no right to be there in the first place, and no intention of paying for the resources you use, or the mess you make. Forget ethics. We are talking conquest and exploitation.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: opportunity on 05/03/2018 09:21:23
And the Moon's OK?

Why make the effort to fly light years to colonise there?

What if you find life and they destroy you because you will seem as much as a threat to what you're suggesting?

That's a bad investment of scientific funding.

Looking for life and colonising, two concepts that are so paradoxical it shouldn't be funny, as much as we would question aliens looking at our planet. The math is there.

Ok, "is it right to make life on a lifeless planet"?
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: alancalverd on 05/03/2018 11:49:53
Light years to the moon? 3 seconds, IIRC.

And why? For the same reason as climbing Everest, exploring the poles, flying anywhere, splitting the atom or disentangling DNA: "because it's there".

Is it right to make life on a lifeless planet? The atheist answer is that in the absence of life, there is no right or wrong. The theist answer is that god did it (which is why we are here) and even gave the order to go forth and multiply.

Is it scientifically sensible to sterilise your equipment when visiting other planets (or even other parts of this one)? Obviously. You don't want to spend the next year analysing your own feces.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: opportunity on 05/03/2018 13:18:46
Yet we still prepare ourselves nonetheless?
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: alancalverd on 05/03/2018 19:49:31
Time spent planning any flight is rarely wasted.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: opportunity on 06/03/2018 06:57:01
True. Understandably Elon Musk got in a bit of trouble with his Tesla vehicle headed to Mars. Should it be shot down, re-diverted, for the sake of science?
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: bikasgaur on 15/04/2018 10:32:05
Isn't it quite obvious? For if it wouldn't been Mars, Musk wouldn't have spent a penny on SpaceX's Mars Colonisation.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: chris on 15/04/2018 11:09:06
True. Understandably Elon Musk got in a bit of trouble with his Tesla vehicle headed to Mars. Should it be shot down, re-diverted, for the sake of science?

I was wondering about that too - does this not constitute a microbial or chemical contamination threat? We normally go to considerable lengths to avoid seeding Earth material into potentially pristine worlds...
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Victoriab on 21/05/2018 07:37:12
I'd say, Mars, It has volcanoes that if they'd erupt, would bring the planet to a warmer temperature and probably push off some useful gases.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Professor Mega-Mind on 01/09/2018 08:10:05
Gentlemanses ,
 Giant thin film shades , librating about Venus' L-1 Lagrange point, would cause a steady temperature drop .  This , in turn , would cause the CO2 to rain out .  The alkaline metals in the ancient , fractured crust would quickly combine with said CO2 to form carbonates .  When only three atmospheres worth of CO2  were left , it would begin snowing out .  Man and his machines could then begin deep sequestration of it , breaking some of it to release O2 into the atmosphere .  The final act would be to remove the shades , revealing Arrakis ; the desert planet .  The triple N2 atmosphere would also support great flying machines , aka. The Jetsons  .  Low water vapor content would keep the temperature down , the thick atm. would block the radiation , & paraterraforming would give residents parks & beaches .  Mining would be far superior to Earth , and geothermal energy would be virtually limitless  .  Earth 2 would be Frank Herbert's  Dune ; a very interesting place .
     P.M.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: chris on 01/09/2018 09:29:13
Giant thin film shades , librating about Venus' L-1 Lagrange point,

How big would they need to be?! And how long to alter the planet's status quo?
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Professor Mega-Mind on 01/09/2018 15:46:14
About 50K square miles in total surface area , in place for 2 or 3 hundred years should do .  It can be likened to the thaw/melt of
" Snowball Earth " .  About 1 km. of liquid CO2 would sink into the 30+ km. of bone-dry , metals-laden , fracture-ridden crust . The reaction time would be very short , as CO2 is extremely reactive .  Atmospheric processing plants would be required on a permanent basis .
 Alright , there you ( and your descendants ) have it ; home sweet home .  Adios , P.M.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: chris on 01/09/2018 22:54:26
Have you got some data to support those suggestions, or are you just speculating?
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Professor Mega-Mind on 02/09/2018 03:15:57
The numbers & facts I used are well within the established norms , with the exception of the time-frame , which has too many variables to be precise .  I welcome constructive critique though .   P.M.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Professor Mega-Mind on 06/12/2018 16:25:38
..............Another Prospect
Mercury-Underrated all these years !  Gravity in the liveable range , lots of shaded terrain for living space , endless reams of energy to power industry , mountains of valuable minerals for raw materials , plenty of volatiles sequestered in craters, easy access to space .  What's not to like ?  Muuuch better than Venus , almost as good as Mars .  Great underground living too !  Eco-tourism available , stark beauty !
Enjoy !......P.M.
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Ophiolite on 06/12/2018 18:25:25
The numbers & facts I used are well within the established norms , with the exception of the time-frame , which has too many variables to be precise .  I welcome constructive critique though .   P.M.
In the absence of detailed justification for your assertions the only appropriate critique is "unsupported opinion".
Title: Re: What is better to colonise, Venus or Mars?
Post by: Professor Mega-Mind on 06/12/2018 18:41:50
"Established Norms" refers to the well-studied geo-chemical processes involving CO2 , alkali metals , phase changes , and temperature/pressure effects on the above .  Chemistry is a fairly predictable science , but don't take my word for it, duplicate my work !
P.M.