AFRICA: The media has been filled with stories about a NASA idea to discover and finally colonize the skies over Venus using airships and helium balloon attached habitats. The writers of the plan point out 31 miles over the surface of the second planet from the sun.
The atmospheric pressure and gravity is about the same as Earth’s. Venus is also better protected from radiation than Mars or the moon. Robert Zubrin, a long-time advocate of Mars colonization, took to his Facebook page on Tuesday to take a dim view of the scheme.
Zubrin is the author of the book, “The Case for Mars,” which lays out the arguments for the exploration and the colonization of the Red Planet. His plan for Mars exploration, Mars Direct, involves using Martian resources to create rocket fuel, thus greatly reducing the cost of Mars exploration. The plan has excited a great deal of interest among NASA planners looking forward to the space agency’s expedition to Mars, currently envisioned for the 2030s. Zubrin, naturally, views the idea of diverting to Venus as a distraction that has not been properly thought through.
“Of course, before doing that, they will need to increase her rate of spin to create a proper day-night cycle. This could probably be done be moving the Earth’s Moon into a low orbit around Venus and then pulling it outward, thereby transferring the angular momentum of its orbital motion into planetary rotation. That could be hard, but no doubt the Asteroid Recapture Mission is the key first step towards creating the necessary capability. Then we move the Moon, spin up Venus, colonize her, and just as soon as that is done, it’s onward to Mars!”