Cloud City On Venus?
It's not easy to find comfortable places to stay elsewhere in the solar system. However, Geoffrey Landis, a scientist at NASA's Glenn Research Center, suggests that Venus might be a good place to look.
I know what you're thinking. Venus? Surface temperature of 490 degrees centigrade with about 92 times the atmospheric pressure of Earth's surface? Doesn't sound very hospitable.
However, Landis, a science fiction writer in his spare time, suggests that we think a bit outside the box. In a recent interview, he suggested building a city in the clouds about fifty kilometers above the surface.
At that altitude, the atmosphere of Venus is at it's most Earth-like. The atmosphere has an air pressure of about one bar and the temperature ranges in the 0-50 degrees centigrade range. You'd need breathing apparatus, but probably not a space suit.
Landis adds that a city might not be as difficult to build - and to keep afloat - as you might think.
"Because the atmosphere of Venus is CO2, the gases that we live in all the time, nitrogen and oxygen, would be a lifting gas," Landis said. "On Earth, we know to get something to lift, you need something lighter than air. Well, on Venus, guess what? Our air is lighter than air, or at least lighter than the Venus atmosphere."
"If you could just take the room you're sitting in and replace the walls with something thinner, the room would float on Venus," he remarked.
SF fans are no doubt hoping that Lando Calrissian will be available to act as administrator; as long as you're building Cloud City, you might as well do it right.
(Cloud City above Bespin in Star Wars)
Cloud City is an installation on the planet Bespin, first seen in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. Bespin has a habitable layer from about 150 - 180 kilometers down from space with an oxygen atmosphere and normal pressure.
Update 18-Dec-2016: Take a look at this early reference to the idea of cities floating in the atmosphere of Venus in Fritz Leiber's humorous 1958 short story Bread Overhead!. End update.
From Colonizing Venus with floating cities.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/23/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?' - Jane Webb Loudon, 1828.
Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...
Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.
Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Life imitates art imitates life.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.'
Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...'
CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.'
Starshade Will Help Space Telescope To Search For Exoplanets
'When it found planetary systems in its field, automatically shifted upon them a higher powered telespectroscope ...'
Tiny LEDs Developed For Dust-Sized Computers
'They use sparkles to talk to each other...'
Is There Extraterrestrial Life Here In The Solar System
'How fast is it moving? ...one meter per minute.'
Can We Comprehend Deep Learning Systems?
'Youíve nothing remotely like it, so I canít describe it to you.'
Skin Electronics Can Show Electrocardiogram
'... the young men in the streets who applied polyimde OLED body film to their bared shoulders.'
Chinese Fern Helps Remediate Arsenic Soil
'Bioengeering had put out a spec report on the long crawly things five months back.'
Skai Air Taxi Costs The Same As Uber
'The air-taxi found its way past and around other ground-cars...'
Neurodevices For Consumers? Neuroethicists (And Philip K Dick) Say 'Caveat Emptor'
'They tried to use it today and it wouldn't work. No colors and no ceph patterns, neither one...'
NASA 3D Printed Habitat Challenge Won By AI SpaceFactory
3D printing - on Mars!
The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink
'Cerebral Electromagnetic Emmission Amplification and Relay System ó call it artificial telepathy, if you like.'
Researchers Make You Say Anything in Videos
'[It] caused his televised image... to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully.'
Jeff Bezos Tries Waldoes (Robotic Hands)
'Waldo put his arms into the primary pair before him...'
Asimov and Musk - Boring Company Tunnel vs. Street Race
'There was almost no sound, just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories