NASA outlines the notion of exploring Venus with manned HAVOC ‘blimps’


When it comes to the exploration scope of Venus, the predicaments are potent, since it is after all the second planet from the sun. This not only translates to hotter surface temperatures, but also pertains to the composition of toxic sulfuric acid in the atmosphere, along with very high pressure on the ground level. Nonetheless, NASA has still let its future ambition known, by scheming to send actual manned endeavors within the planet’s outer atmosphere. And, they are devising to do it with High Altitude Venus Operational Concept or HAVOC blimp-like vehicles.

The solution is put forth by NASA engineers at the Langley facility, and the ambit basically entails a team of two astronauts inside the 129-m long HAVOC dirigible floating at an altitude of 50 km above the Venus surface. This type of navigation protocol avoids those problematic scenarios (on the primary ground level) we talked about earlier, while also making it relatively easy to explore the planet by eschewing the complex mechanical actions of landings and take-offs. In other words, the space-borne explorers could temporarily make use of the HAVOC as a floating habitat/research center – where they can reside and also conduct experiments for a month-long period.


As a matter of fact, scientists have found out that Venusian heavy atmosphere is more conducive to floating an airship filled with helium-like substance. But of course, the astronauts can’t travel all the way to Venus from Earth in such ‘rudimentary’ crafts. To that end, NASA will first have a conduct a slew of unmanned missions that would not only examine the atmosphere of Venus but also test out the capacity of human technology in dealing with alien eco-systems. After such a testing phase is complete and declared safe, the manned spacecrafts can be sent to rendezvous with one of the orbiting crafts of Venus. The synchronization scope can then be utilized to launch a special craft into the Venusian atmosphere, for further deploying of the HAVOC airships above the planet’s surface.

In the grander scheme of things, many such airships can be potentially used as floating cities above the Venus. And the best part is – the planet receives 40 percent more solar energy than Earth (and 240-times more than Mars) that can be used for generating solar energy that would power the turbines of the suspended ‘fortresses’. This Utopian ambit is further bolstered by the fact that Venus is far safer when it comes to radiation exposure, with comparison magnitudes similar to that of Canada (while Mars has 40-times more radiation levels than Earth).

In any case, NASA has not put forth any serious plan for the said endeavor that would entail large-scale manned missions to Venus. However, the alternative to Mars seems feasible enough, at least when observed from the perspective of a few planetary parameters.

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Check out the conceptual ambit of Venus exploration via HAVOC, in video –

Via: ExtremeTech

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