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feasible near term Venus settlements?
(12-23-2014, 11:30 AM)viperzerofsx Wrote:

I've heard of building cities in the clouds of Venus before, but this is the first time i've heard of a near term mission to Venus. Many of the Challenges of a Mars mission are not present and the possibility of semi permeant human presence of Venus seems really interesting to me.
While technically feasible at least in concept, the main stumbling block (as always) is funding. At the present time, there is almost no political advantage to be gained from supporting even modest experimentation in any scheme for off-planet settlement, nor do I (IMHO) see this as changing in the immediate future. As long as there are other issues perceived as more pressing needs (energy, the economy, crime, global climate change, etc.), the colonization of Venus or Mars will receive little attention from legislators.

As an example, the U.S. Army studied the feasibility of a permanently manned base on Luna in 1959. The study concluded that such a base was, in fact, both feasible and do-able in the near term, using technologies that either already existed or were then in development (most notably, the Saturn family of heavy-lift rockets); the study projected that the lunar base could be made operational by 1966-67 (less than a decade after the study's completion). However, the study (which predated Project Apollo by a year) lacked the Cold War impetus of competition with the Soviet Union (a much more pressing concern at the time), and was thus doomed to languish in relative obscurity. While the Apollo project cost $25.4 billion (1973) dollars, the earlier Project Horizon was estimated to cost $6 billion (1959) dollars; arguably, Horizon could have provided much more of a return on investment than Apollo did. Further proof that rationality always comes in behind perceived threats.

Don't even get me started on the 1961 NASA decision to adopt a hybrid Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR)-Earth Orbit Rendezvous (EOR) mode instead of a straight EOR mode (Direct Ascent mode, even though championed by von Braun and others, was clearly a non-starter, considering the timelines involved).

"I'd much rather see you on my side, than scattered into... atoms." Ming the Merciless, Ruler of the Universe

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RE: feasible near term Venus settlements? - by radtech497 - 12-23-2014, 12:24 PM

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