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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old February 19 2009, 05:41 PM   #1
sojourner
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The Venus Project: a dream given form.

Hehe, hopefully the title grabbed ya! Anyway, on to the question/idea.

We know in that currently Venus has several marks against it as a living environment. Crushing atmosphere, acidic content, lack of a meaningful magnetic field, and an extremely long "day" of over 240 earth days.

What if (and I mean this in the sense that we find a way to do it) we used the same terraforming method that was "used" on the earth. In this I mean that current scientific theory has it that Earth's moon is the result of a collision with the earth and a smaller body at some point in the past. If we could replicate this kind of collision with Venus it could solve alot of our problems. Potentially large parts of that huge atmosphere would be blown away. Rotational spin would be re-introduced (if the impact was done at the correct angle). A moon would be created to "stir up" the interior of Venus through tidal forces, creating a molten core and magnetic field.

OK, now the "Cons" of this plan. Bits of planet sent flying all over the solarsystem. Long cool down period as the new surface of Venus stabilizes. Still need to work on what ever is left of the atmosphere to change it's composition. Have I missed any?

Couple of things that I have also thought of in this respect. Follow up the moon impact with icey comet impacts at regular intervals to introduce more water to the equation. The old "40 days and 40 nights of rain" cooling method. Make sure the initial impact is done while earth is farthest from Venus in order to maximize intercept time of wayward planet bits.

Now, how long do you estimate before it would be safe to land on the surface? How much longer before habitable conditions for colonization? What can be done to improve the plan?

This is sort of just a mental exercise, but also part of the background I am working on for my on pet project science fiction setting.

So, what do you think? totally nuts?
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Old February 19 2009, 07:29 PM   #2
Aquehonga
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

Totally nuts?

Perhaps, but a very intriguing thught provoking thread

Your idea here has it's flaws, some of which you pointed out.

What would be the effects of the Venus/Body Collision on the rest of the solar system, especially the inner solar system? I'm thinking of effects on rotation & revolution periods as well as atmospheres.

What if Venus has life? Venus could have life radically different from Earth life. Life unrecognizable to humans.

The reverse is true too. Such Venusian life, if it exists, would probably see Earth as a lifeless barren chemically hostile uninhabitable inhospitable place.

What if the new 2nd planet that emerged from this wasn't anything close to what was expected?

Suppose, instead of the planet wanted, you end up with 2 Mars sized un-Terraformable unusable worlds orbiting each other?

Either with no real atmospheres or atmospheres more hostile than Venus's. A binary or double planet.

On the other hand, if this idea succeeded, it would be humanity's greatest engineering achievement

A 2nd Earth slightly closer to the Sun

This would be great experience if in the (far) future humans wanted to build a Dyson Structure, whether in this or another solar system.
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Old February 19 2009, 07:35 PM   #3
T J
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

Well first off what large body would you like to slam into Venus...? Second, I have to think the point you brought up about, I don't think I'd want an explosion that size anywhere near Earth... to many uncontrollable factors.

As you said, long cool down period, somewhere in the neighborhood of a million years, way to long to do us any good. It would be a long time after that before we would even know if it had a positive effect.

The best methods I've heard about are ones that involve raining down smaller icy asteroids/meteors from the outer solar system or even Saturn's rings. That could bring the wait time to just thousands of years, perhaps less if we really go at it.

The same procedure could also help on Mars.
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Old February 19 2009, 07:43 PM   #4
scotthm
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

sojourner wrote: View Post
So, what do you think? totally nuts?
Yes, totally.


Aquehonga wrote: View Post
This would be great experience if in the (far) future humans wanted to build a Dyson Structure
Even nuttier.

It would probably be easier moving your civilization to another star system than it would be moving planets around within a solar system, or building structures billions of times more massive than Earth.

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Old February 19 2009, 07:59 PM   #5
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

T J wrote: View Post
Well first off what large body would you like to slam into Venus...?
Rosie O'Donnell. If that doesn't work, Dick Cheney.
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Old February 19 2009, 10:40 PM   #6
Pavonis
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

sojourner wrote: View Post
Now, how long do you estimate before it would be safe to land on the surface? How much longer before habitable conditions for colonization? What can be done to improve the plan?
A few thousand to a few million years. Depends on what kind of surface you would consider "safe" to land on.

Of course, if you really want to settle Venus, you don't need to live on the surface. Breathable air (O2-N2 mix) is a lifting gas in Venus's atmosphere, so you could just build a floating habitat filled with air and let it drift around in the upper atmosphere.
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Old February 22 2009, 06:15 AM   #7
Dayton3
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

Slamming a body large enough to speed up Venus's rotation would add dramatically to the planets overall heat.

And as said above, where would you get a body large enough?

Not a single asteroid or dwarf planet yet discovered would have anywhere near the mass to accomplish this.

The only usuable bodies would be current moons like Luna, Titan, Triton, Ganeymede, Callisto, Io, or Europa.

And those all have uses right where they are.

In the book "New Earths" it was suggested colliding Callisto and Mercury together to produce a Mars sized world with plenty of water and then move it into Venus orbit. A Mars sized world near Venus would stir the planets iron core and aide terraforming but the new world created by Callisto and Mercury would actually be terraformable first.
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Old February 22 2009, 11:36 AM   #8
All Seeing Eye
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

I'd imagine it would do more bad than good, infact the chances are that it would be so catastrophic that Venus would become permanently uncolonisable.

I think this idea would be better suited to terraforming Venus.
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Old February 22 2009, 04:15 PM   #9
scotthm
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

Tachyon Shield wrote: View Post
I'd imagine it would do more bad than good, infact the chances are that it would be so catastrophic that Venus would become permanently uncolonisable.
Venus became permanently uncolonisable (for humans) a long time ago.

I think this idea would be better suited to terraforming Venus.
Let's see. Earth has a 1 bar atmosphere that consists of 0.03% CO2. Venus has a 92 bar atmosphere that consists of 96.5% CO2. Scientists are in an uproar worring about how this 0.03% component of Earth's thin atmosphere is going to destroy humanity, and you are hiding the solution to our problem: we just put the CO2 in tankers and send it to Mars!

So, besides the fact that Venus has about 250,000 times more CO2 in its atmosphere than Earth does, it also has no protective magnetic field and is over 25% closer to the Sun than Earth is. Did I get into the Science Fiction & Fantasy Forum by mistake?

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Old February 22 2009, 04:26 PM   #10
All Seeing Eye
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

scotthm wrote: View Post
I think this idea would be better suited to terraforming Venus.
Let's see. Earth has a 1 bar atmosphere that consists of 0.03% CO2. Venus has a 92 bar atmosphere that consists of 96.5% CO2. Scientists are in an uproar worring about how this 0.03% component of Earth's thin atmosphere is going to destroy humanity, and you are hiding the solution to our problem: we just put the CO2 in tankers and send it to Mars!

So, besides the fact that Venus has about 250,000 times more CO2 in its atmosphere than Earth does, it also has no protective magnetic field and is over 25% closer to the Sun than Earth is. Did I get into the Science Fiction & Fantasy Forum by mistake?

You didn't read the whole thread, all those questions are taken care of.

For starters the fact Venus' atmosphere comprises of 96.5% CO2 means extractors could quite easily take in enormous amounts of the gas.

There's no way extractors on Earth could extract 0.038% CO2, especially not before extracting all the oxygen and Nitrogen first.

By wiping out the CO2 in Venus' atmosphere you cancel out the main reason why the planet is so hot, the greenhouse effect. Even Earth is so warm because it has a greenhouse effect, without it Earth would be an ice world. completely wipe out Venus' greenhouse effect and it's possible the temperatures might be similar to on Earth. Earths greenhouse effect is effected by the amount of water vapour in the air, Venus wouldn't have that problem to begin with.

A bit of common sense goes a long way.

After that you introduce some water (but not the same level of water you get on Earth) and some Flora in order to begin the process of introducing Oxygen (some CO2 will be left for the flora), once theres oxygen in the atmosphere you introduce more water by shipping Hydrogen from Jupiter to Venus and burning it to create water.

I'd also like to point out that Venus has a slow rotation, meaning people could live primarily on the dark side of the planet for several months. If after all this work the temperatures on Venus are a little too high still (which I doubt) other methods to cool the planet further could be orbital reflectors to limit the light and heat reaching the surface of the planet and vice versa on the dark side reflectors could help beam some light down for plant life.

Obviously as of right now it is beyond our capability, nobody especially me is disputing that fact and at no point did I say we could do this right now but it doesn't mean it can't be accomplished in the future.

scotthm wrote: View Post
Venus became permanently uncolonisable (for humans) a long time ago.
Incorrect, it is colonisable after terraforming. When I said it might become completely uncolonisable I meant if it somehow got knocked into a closer sun orbit or if it fractured or some other freak catastrophe.

Last edited by All Seeing Eye; February 22 2009 at 05:07 PM.
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Old February 22 2009, 09:44 PM   #11
scotthm
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

Tachyon Shield wrote: View Post
scotthm wrote: View Post
besides the fact that Venus has about 250,000 times more CO2 in its atmosphere than Earth does, it also has no protective magnetic field and is over 25% closer to the Sun than Earth is.
You didn't read the whole thread, all those questions are taken care of.
I'm sure they were discussed.

For starters the fact Venus' atmosphere comprises of 96.5% CO2 means extractors could quite easily take in enormous amounts of the gas.
Take them into what? You're talking about 500 million billion tons of CO2.

A bit of common sense goes a long way.
Not that I've been able to see. I don't think terraforming Venus has much to do with common sense.

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Old February 22 2009, 10:41 PM   #12
All Seeing Eye
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

scotthm wrote: View Post
Take them into what? You're talking about 500 million billion tons of CO2.
It's in the first post dude. The gas is compressed into liquid form and stored in tankers. The extractors just so you know will be powered by miniature nuclear reactors. There is then two options to dispose of it:
  1. Transport them to Mars for release into the Martian Atmosphere. Which in turn would help to create a Martian greenhouse effect to heat up Mars.
  2. Dig large underground caverns on the Venusian surface to store the liquefied CO2.
This is obviously reliant on future technology. Option 1 for example would be much easier to accomplish if we develop space elevator technology.

Obviously the terraformation process will take years.
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Old February 22 2009, 10:56 PM   #13
scotthm
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

Tachyon Shield wrote: View Post
Obviously the terraformation process will take years.
At least.

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Old February 23 2009, 03:37 AM   #14
Meredith
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

The main reason Venus is so screwed up is the lack of plate tectonics
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Last edited by Meredith; February 23 2009 at 04:24 AM.
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Old February 23 2009, 03:53 AM   #15
All Seeing Eye
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Re: The Venus Project: a dream given form.

Meredith wrote: View Post
technotics
Dictionary.com has got nothing.

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