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Forget Mars, humans should head to Venus and live in the clouds – scientist

Venus was once thought to be similar in conditions to Earth and is a similar size. But over the course of its 4.6 billion year history, greenhouse gasses have taken its toll on the boiling hot planet – which is now even hotter than Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun.

Temperatures on Venus exceed 460 degrees Celsius thanks to volcanic activity and a thick, heavy atmosphere that is full of carbon dioxide.

However, above the toxic atmosphere is part of an atmosphere which is similar to ours, full of carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen.

This is why humanity could live aboard “floating habitats” above Venus, according to one scientist.

It would make sense for several reasons; firstly because Venus has been described as once being Earth’s twin, and secondly because it is much closer to Earth than Mars is.

Forget Mars, humans should head to Venus and live in the clouds – scientist (Image: NASA)

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Venus looks pretty lifeless (Image: GETTY)

At its closest point, Mars is 34.6 million miles from Earth, while Venus on the other hand can be just 23.7 million miles from our planet.

Speaking in the documentary Venus: Death of a Planet, Geoffrey Landis, engineer and scientist at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, said: “You could float habitats in the atmosphere of Venus.

“And the habitats could be very large. They could be kilometres in scale.

“You wouldn’t even need hydrogen or helium. Because the atmosphere of Venus is mostly carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen — ordinary breathable air — would float.

READ MORE: Venus discovery: Major finding reveals planet is not as dead as though

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How the surface of Venus might look (Image: GETTY)

“The air that’s holding you up is also the air that you can breathe. The lifting gas is your environment.”

Others, however, see the idea as a bit fanciful.

Jonathan Sauder, senior mechatronics engineer at JPL, said: “I love the idea of a human crewed mission to a cloud city on Venus.

“You would just need to wear some type of suit that would provide you with oxygen to breathe as well as protection from the chemical air.

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Venus facts and figures (Image: EXPRESS)

“But you wouldn’t necessarily need a pressure suit. Humans tend to not like the idea of not being able to be on firm ground.

“And the idea that you have to stay floating above this furnace essentially, in some ways is a hard sell!”

There are other issues concerning humanity living on Venus.

Temperatures on Venus exceed 460 degrees Celsius thanks to the thick, poisonous atmosphere that is full of carbon dioxide leading to an extreme greenhouse gas effect.

At that temperature, which is hotter than Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, there is no liquid on Venus of any kind, making the prospect of life impossible by current scientific understanding.

Source:Daily Express :: Science Feed

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