Venus, the second planet from the sun, is often referred to as Earth’s twin due to its similar size and composition. But despite these similarities, the conditions on Venus are extremely hostile to life as we know it. The planet has a surface temperature of over 460 degrees Celsius (860º F) and a thick atmosphere filled with toxic gases. So much for a friendly earth sibling. So what would life be like for humans if we were able to land on Venus?
First and foremost, landing on Venus would require significant advancements in technology. Currently, no spacecraft has been able to withstand the extreme temperatures and atmospheric pressure on the planet’s surface. The Russians have launched several missions to Venus, including a number of rudimentary landers, that have sent back the first images of the Venusian surface back to Earth. But with temperatures over 800ºF, the landers have lasted only a number of minutes or hours.
But with future advancements in materials and engineering, it may be possible to design a spacecraft that could safely land on Venus and protect its occupants from the harsh environment.
Once on the surface, humans would need to be protected by advanced pressurized suits and have access to a reliable source of oxygen and food. The surface temperature on Venus is hot enough to melt lead, and the atmospheric pressure is over 90 times greater than that on Earth, making it impossible for humans to survive without protective gear.
Walking around on the surface would require mechanical assistance, due to the pressure alone, meaning we’d be required to have powered-mechanical spacesuits, or utilize a rover of some type.
One of the biggest challenges of living on Venus would be finding a source of water. Water is essential for human survival, and there is currently no evidence of liquid water on Venus. This means that any future human settlement on the planet would have to be self-sufficient, relying on resources brought from Earth or obtained through in-situ resource utilization. This would add significant weight and complexity to the mission.
Despite these challenges, there are several reasons why scientists and space agencies are interested in exploring Venus. The planet’s harsh environment may hold clues about the formation and evolution of rocky planets, including Earth. Additionally, studying Venus may also provide insight into the broader universe and the conditions necessary for life to exist.
Due to the extreme temperatures and pressures, researchers have talked about the need for mechanical versus electronic equipment when exploring Venus. High-temperature stainless steel could survive on the planet’s surface, and would have to be combined with advanced engineering to withstand the extremes of the surface.
In conclusion, landing on Venus would be a significant challenge for humans. The planet’s harsh environment would require significant advancements in technology and protective gear, and finding a source of water would be a major concern. However, the potential scientific and exploratory benefits of landing on Venus make it an exciting prospect for the future of space exploration.