ANSWERS: 3
  • Glass is a good material to deal with most forms of acid. Where acid can eat through glass (as in glass etching acid) then it appears we hold it in plastics. Currently there is no protection from magma/lava. Assuming we get around the minor pressure problem on Venus, the most ideal place to build a colony would be underground. The surface of the planet would protect against the acid and the high pressure. On Io there is no 'safe place' Not because of the continuing volcanic activity as Jupiter kneads Io's interior, but because of the high energy radiations Jupiter puts out, The inner moons of Jupiter are washed or bathed in radiation. In order to use Venus as a colony we would need to do 2 things - Cool her off - most likely but the application of a space based sun screen system - putting Venus in more shadow. And then removing a good chunk of the atmosphere. The atmosphere of Venus is 96.5% carbon dioxide, with most of the remaining 3.5% composed of nitrogen. The atmospheric mass is 93 times that of Earth's atmosphere while the pressure at the planet's surface is about 92 times that at Earth's surface - its about the same pressure found 1 km below the oceans surface. The most ideal and practical method available to us to reduce the atmosphere of Venus is to shield it further from the sun Meaning instead of dimming the planet to put it in total darkness. Less heat reaching the planet means that eventually we reach the temperature (at the poles first) where Carbon dioxide will condense and freeze into 'snow'. We do not need to cool the whole planet down to -70 F, we only need to get the poles that cold - once that happens CO2 will 'fall out' of the sky. As you know plants 'easily' absorb the carbon of the Carbon dioxide molecule and exhale the Oxygen - the carbon gets trapped within the plant as as long as the plant lives the carbon is held. there are chemical and mechanical methods to separate carbon from oxygen - not as efficient or not as easy, however it is possible too break the CO2 into Carbon and Oxygen. Some (not all) of the C02 on Venus would be broken into carbon and oxygen, the carbon most likely reconstituted into a carbon molecule such as graphite or other carbon and carbon compounds (solids) that could be used to build structures, or be used to adjust the soils to make it possible to grow some very, very hardy micro-flora and micro -fauna (micro plants and micro animals). The Left over or the majority would need to be shot into space, or sequestered beneath the planets surface. Shot into space may be the 'better' idea not in the form of CO2 but in other forms, separated and recombined molecules - basically we would be mining the atmosphere for its useful elements - Carbon and Oxygen. Little is known about the trace gasses and compounds in Venus' atmosphere. Recently hydroxyl was discovered high up in the atmophere of Venus by Venus Express. Hydroxyl is a molecule made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen, it us found in Earth's upper atmosphere a by product of the processes leading to the creation of the Ozone. We know even less about the surface of Venus, we have some images (taken via X-ray mostly) and have a lot of great theories based on what we see. It is assumed that Venus is composed of the same rocky iron material as earth - most likely in the same proportion without the life created materials. Technically speaking cooling and removing a substantial part of Venus' atmosphere then letting the temperature raise to those comfortable for us is 'easy' we have the technologies needed - what we do not have is the budget nor the interest in placing perhaps centuries of hard work into terraforming Venus. Venus ceased to be a planet of interest when its atmospheric conditions were revealed although we can do it, the layout of of time and money and resources to do so depends on a united earth - once where every human being is on the same page. As long as nationalism exists there will not be the cooperation and the commitment to terraform Venus. And most likely not even Mars. Mars is easier to terraform simply because the materials needed are (most likely) already there. there would be no need to expend great amounts of energy to send material 'away' from Mars. We might have too develop the technology to 'shoot' ice based materials (like the rings of Saturn, yes pretty, but there is so many practical uses they must go) To Mars to increase atmospheric pressures and also to seed it with more water. It is very difficult for a single nation or even a handful of nations - even rich ones - to reach the moon, or to build a small space station - a mere can in space. It will require a great deal many more resources and a level of cooperation that has never been seen on Earth to attain the level of technology in space to even set up a permanent base on Mars let alone set about the centuries long task of turning an inhospitable planet into one where life can flourish.
  • The problem with Venus isn't acid or lava... it's atmospheric gas that reaches 500 degrees centigrade, besides containing no oxygen.
  • The Venus atmosphere could be terraformed using different forms of terran Bacteria. There are lots of bacteria (Archaea, for example) that can stand the pressure, temperature and acidity of the Venus atmosphere and surface. Some have been found at the bottom of our ocean. The larger issue is the lack of a planetary magnetic field. If you removed the sulfuric acid clouds, reduce the 480 Deg C temperature and the volume of the atmosphere (92 Bar) you are still exposed to the radiation stream coming from the sun. You would need a huge, moon-sized generator to create a perpundicular magnetic field to align the atomic nuclei of the Venus core to get it spinning and thus create/maintain a planetary magnetic field.

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