The man on Venus

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Could Star Wars give us a look at the future of space colonization?

Could Star Wars give us a look at the future of space colonization?

Photo provided by https://www.themarysue.com/nasa-cloud-city-on-venus/

Photo provided by https://www.themarysue.com/nasa-cloud-city-on-venus/

Could Star Wars give us a look at the future of space colonization?

Danny Brooks, Staff Writer

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From Total Recall to John Carter to The Martian, Hollywood has been trying hard to show people that the future of space colonization (or moreso the start) lies on Mars. This is not exactly an uncommon sentiment; the red planet is, aside from our Moon, the extraterrestrial body we know best. We’ve successfully landed a number of probes on its surface, including the well-known Mars Rover, and though the climate is not quite similar to Earth, it’s much easier to deal with too cold than too hot.

However, this may wind up being a misconception. While it is, of course, impossible to accurately predict these events until we actually start to get close, there may be both several unaccounted for problems with Mars, and possibly a more suitable choice. One of the prime, and often overlooked, issues with Martian colonization is the stark differences in atmospheric conditions. Aside from not possessing breathable air, the pressure exerted would be a pain to manage. With such thin layers of atmosphere, the surface of Mars would have characteristics of deep space not prevalent here on Earth, such as an inability to keep in gases or temperature.

Though not a perfect substitute, another option that doesn’t get enough (or really any) coverage is Venusian colonization. Many will dismiss this on its face, as the surface of Venus is extremely hot, acidic, and generally inhospitable. But a solution might be hiding above, and one that sounds straight out of science fiction. Unlike Mars, Venus’ atmosphere is quite strong, much more so than our own, so the normal air systems that we experience on Earth actually get forced higher up into different layers of the atmosphere. While the technology may not exist now, it should theoretically be possible to build a geodesic dome full of our own air that would float on Venus.

Cloud cities certainly sound ridiculous, but the density of air on the Venusian surface is suitably outlandish itself to make this a legitimate possibility. For a sort of visual representation, videos of soap bubbles floating on carbon dioxide work with much of the same principle. So long as the dome were to be entirely sealed off, it wouldn’t even be necessary to have the highest durability industrial grade materials, as the atmosphere at this level is very reminiscent of life on Earth, and would not require the immense strength of objects permanently in space such as the international space station.

There are still many, many hypothetical problems that could come from this, such as what to do if an atmospheric imbalance (unlikely, but should be noted as a possibility) were to occur, or space debris were to come in contact, or how to manage being significantly closer to the sun, or how to get such a dome set up on Venus in the first place. However, many experts believe that the upper layers of Venus may be the most Earth-like conditions in our entire solar system. Plus, who wouldn’t love to try their hand at being Lando Calrissian?

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