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#26 2012-03-18 15:50:01

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,643
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Re: Venus

For the Earth,  I don't know if it was O-O or N-N fusion.  Given enough density,  all are possible.  The density is created by the implosion wave.  The propagation or quench depends upon the mass that you "implode". 

On Venus at high density,  you have the prospects of both O-O fusion and C-C fusion.  None of these involve the hydrogen species we are used to thinking about.  All are involved in creating the heavier elements in the cores of stars. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#27 2012-03-19 00:02:20

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,513
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Re: Venus

That's quite the idea.  Has anyone actually done the calculations showing that it's really possible to make the fusion occur, as well as be self-sustaining to the point where a significant proportion of the atmosphere would react?

I know I suggested, at some point, using a sunshade to allow the atmosphere to liquefy itself, and then stuffing the CO2 liquid down a volcano so that it would sit inside the planet.  That's somewhat less destructive but of course still requires a very major effort.


-Josh

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#28 2012-03-19 03:58:41

karov
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From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Venus

GW Johnson,

You mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_detonation & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-burning_process I see.

"It requires high temperatures (> 5×108 K or 50 keV) and densities (> 3×109 kg/m3) "

500 000 000 degrees Kelvin & density of 3 million times the density of liquid water! ( compared with this Earth's 1 Bar and Venusian 100ish Bars are like vacuum(!) so pointless to refer to "high pressure" on Venus ).


The principal reactions are:[5]
12
6C     +     12
6C     →     20
10Ne     +     4
2He     +     4.617 MeV
12
6C     +     12
6C     →     23
11Na     +     1
1H     +     2.241 MeV
12
6C     +     12
6C     →     23
12Mg     +     n     −     2.599 MeV
Alternatively:
12
6C     +     12
6C     →     24
12Mg     +     γ     +     13.933 MeV
12
6C     +     12
6C     →     16
8O     +     2 4
2He     −   0.113 MeV

===

In principle the overall budget is exothermic.

Oxygen Fusion :: http://www.astrophysicsspectator.com/to … xygen.html

There is some H also in the atmosphere of Venus so CNO ( Bete cycle ) reactions can happen too, IF and ONLY IF
we manage to compress mass of Venusian gases into 1 billion degrees / billions of Bars "core".

The reaction very doubtedly would be chain one consuming the whole atmosphere because both O-O and C-C are very neutrinic - neutrinos stealing and wasting away the energy.

100% it would take MORE energy to prepare the setting ( compression - heating ) than it would release. And if it was possible the fusion of Venusian atmosphere mass would be so energetic that it would scatter the place in pieces, creating radioactive ecological hell all accross the Solar System wink

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#29 2012-03-19 04:05:12

karov
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From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Venus

GW Johnson,

BUT, you scheme makes perfect sense IF these O-O & C-C & N-N + H reactions are utilized in kinda reactor. Thus the energy would not spill over everywhere in destructive and unusable form, and the fusion system would produce BOTH the energy for terraformation ( incl. the needed for deep and global scale resculpturing of the planetary surface + some mantle engineering for eventual water / Hydrogen extraction ) and will produce lots of usefull transmutation products as "waste" ( in fact this waste would be NCF - negative cost feeedstock for other businesses ).

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#30 2012-03-19 14:16:14

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,513
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Re: Venus

It's also probably worth pointing out that you have to achieve pressures and temperatures that are actually higher than those at the center of a star, because stars usually generate very small amounts of power on a volumetric basis.  I believe the sun is something like one milliwatt per cubic kilometer.


-Josh

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#31 2012-03-20 08:10:45

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
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Posts: 3,643
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Re: Venus

Man,  I dunno about all the thermonuclear fusion reaction stuff.  I'm a aero/mechanical engineer,  not nuclear. 

But,  I do recall from reading the old writings of the Los Alamos team that setting off atmospheric fusion was initially of concern for the Trinity test in New Mexico 1945.  They figured out it was of no risk (with dissenters),  so they went ahead with the test,  and the attacks on Japan. 

In the late 1960's,  I remember reading published accounts from the likes of the fusion weapon physics folks,  and some USAF generals,  about the slim chance of an implosion wave detonation pattern setting off fusion burning in Earth's atmosphere during a WW3 extinction-event-size exchange of around 3000 warheads or so. 

As I said,  I dunno myself,  and those fears back then don't seem to square with the reaction data I see posted above,  but I do very clearly remember that those fears were very real at the time.  There must have been some plausible reason for it,  those were very knowledgeable folks.  The specifics are very probably still classified data,  perhaps rightly so. 

Assuming those 60's experts weren't wrong,  then it seems to me that there might be a way to do it on Venus,  and "blow off" that thick blanket in one bright piece of fireworks.  If so,  I'd be less concerned about the fallout,  since the solar wind is a far larger source of nuclear pollution than any puny fireworks we can dream up for some centuries yet.  Sort of a matter of perspective,  I guess. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#32 2012-03-20 11:57:22

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,102
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Re: Venus

Ahem. Though I may be one of Terraformings most avid proponents, I do fear we're forgetting the Venus equivalent of the Areophany. Venus is very, very hard to make Earthlike - at the surface. However, getting to an environment where there is a significant amount of water, such that the clouds don't dissolve you, shouldn't be all that difficult - several dozen cometry impacts delivering water (methane and ammonia would react with the CO2 I believe to give more water), and some bioengineered bacteria to remove the excess sulfur - could a polyanhydride be made stable with sulfur? - and you've got a situation very amenable to flying islands. From this point, we have to wait a while for the CO2 to go down, and the O2 up, enough for us to take a breath outside, but we've picked the low hanging fruit and saved ourselves a job later.

Maybe, if the temperature can be dropped low enough, we'll end up with islands that are floating about a CO2 ocean. When that happens, the CO2 may react with oxides in the surface to form Carbonates. We might get it down a situation where there's several bars each of CO2 and Nitrogen, temperatures cool enough to survive on the surface using equipment, and if we're lucky, some rain. Without mega engineering projects.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#33 2012-03-20 23:41:47

JoshNH4H
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Posts: 2,513
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Re: Venus

It could just be me, but I don't think that the ideas KSR called the Aerophany* should be given consideration in technical discussions of terraforming.  Your suggested method is much more economical if it works, and while it is quite romantic I don't think that should be the first concern of the planetary engineers.

*For those who have not read Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy, you should, because it is IMO an amazing series of books.  In those books the Aerophany is a reverence for the planet and was used, in part, in the series to justify an opposition to terraforming.


-Josh

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#34 2012-03-21 03:59:49

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,102
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Re: Venus

I would counter that romance must be discussed in terraforming, insofar as it determines the end goal - dissembling the planet and building a topopolis would be more "economical", but few suggest it. One must define what degree of alien is acceptable at the end stage.

But, romantic considerations aside, I still think mine is the best, since it starts with colonies and uses them as part of the project, whilest providing quick returns. Of course, we'll need to do some engineering to lock up most of the nitrogen, but maybe bacteria can help us here?


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#35 2012-03-21 12:10:23

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Venus

I think that all options can be explored.  It is not like anyone is actually set into motion a action which will lock up the future of Venus.  Not yet.

I see something about the Fusion explosion plan.  A giant bubble of gas would be travelling through our solar system for a while.  The explosion would put into a general orbit/s, and the solar wind would push it outwards.  I am presuming the plan includes it missing the Earth.  How about making it intercept Mars?

I wonder about another method.

If metalic materials were taken from Mercury put into an orbit, and assembled into shells using the abundant solar energy available, Filled with dust, and then moved to Venus, using the solar wind or solar sails.

The dust would be vented to the atmosphere of Venus, to sop up the sulphuric Acid.

Then if a rotating teather system could scoop atmosphere out and of course into them. Scooping would involve the scoops getting very cold while being out of the atmosphere, and then condensing gasses while in the atmosphere.

Fill the metal containers from Mercury with condensed gasses, CO2, and some N2. 

Use the solar wind or light pressure to move the filled containers to Mars, and then vent much of the gasses.  Move the containers to where ever seems useful.

After the sulphuric Acid was delt with, a very high temperature robitic mining system on the surface of Venus, and Terraformers floating colonies.

I wonder if the explosive method were used, if the atmospheric pressure of Venus would still be high?  Then the two plans might fit together.

Last edited by Void (2012-03-21 12:12:01)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#36 2012-03-22 01:00:30

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
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Posts: 3,102
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Re: Venus

I think we can measure plans on several factors, such as immediate benefits (do we have to wait for terraforming to finish to colonise?), efficiency of resources (blowing off the atmosphere is very inefficient) and the sustainability of the final world (bear in mind that you'd be leaving Venus very carbon depleted).


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#37 2012-03-22 03:42:52

karov
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From: Bulgaria
Registered: 2004-06-03
Posts: 953

Re: Venus

Well, I think I already wrote this on many occasions in this forum for the past years, but :

Venus has excess of certain chemicals and lacks others. The nearest source of Hydrogen is the Sun. Capture it by plasmoid systems and direct it to Venus.

Exporting out of the gravity well of excess C+O+N costs energy, but infalling / importing Hydrogen provides excess of energy. Excess in respect with the needed for gases export, and this excess used for lithosperic sculpturing, mantle engineering, etc. Dump H in, lift C-O-N-S... off.

The Venusian atmosphere is 5x10^20 kg. Lets leave on place 1/5th of it for processing into planetary structures and chemicals ( mainly water and biomass and limestone ). It is mostly CO2 which is the ideal base material for topopoli. O2 + N2 for air to fill the pipe in, and diamondoid / graphene out of the C for the walls and "earth" consruction. The estimates give 5000+ km wide rotating habitat build from fiber diamond at 1G! ... if necessary, hundreds of miles width are in fact more than enough to create enough habitat void...

At Birch's estimate of 40 metric tonnes of material per squate metre of "toposphere" ( the support structural hull ) and "geosphere" ( land, water ) and atmosphere and "limunosphere" needed ... we have 10^19 : 10^4 or 10^15 square metres of habitat buildable in space from the atmospheric "garbage" left from the terraformation of Venus.

That is ( if we choose, say, 10^4 m tube circumference / several km wide ) = hundreds of millions of km long topopolis!!! with habitable area of 1 000 000 000 km2 or... TWICE the Earth's total area or... EIGHT times the Earth's total land area,or ... 2000 times France, or... million+ times , say, Singapore.

Here it worths to mention that the topopolis orbital configuration is not necessary to be the one of strictly circular hoop around the Sun, but it could follow dynamically the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interplane … rt_Network paths linking as...

a giant LANDBRIDGE (!!!)

...  all the Inner system 5 planemos : Mecrury, Venus, Earth, Mars + the Moon

So to say, to catch the tube ( train ) to Mercury wink

Enabling Inner SolSys spanning http://et3.com/ - like land transport. And later not only Inner and not only the SolSys. If the designed et3 envisions several km/s intercontnentally, it is easy to continue the gradation to hundreds of km/s interplanetary, thousands of km/s to the outer SolSys, relativistical operational speeds interstellary.

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#38 2012-04-02 15:45:37

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Venus

I bought a Discover magazine today, and read an article, "The Clouds are Alive".  The point in the article is that it seems that microorganisms high up, almost to conditions resembling Mars, and also in the clouds, serve as a catalist to freeze supercooled water.

So, in a different way it might after all be possible that a microorganism could alter Venus.  The rain and snow patterns.  I presume that it does rain and perhaps snow in the atmosphere of Venus in some circumstances.

I don't know what value the alteration would have however.

The organisms would have to put up with UV, as this article indicates some of these organisms do.  I also have reservations on the existance of a place in the atmospheric column where the organisms would not be burned up by Sulphuric Acid.  I do recall that Sulphuric Acid is an Oxidant.  If in very diluted conditions, it could actually be used by an organism in place of Oxygen perhaps.  Not sure.

Anyway something to think about.

Curiously, if there were already such an organism in the atmosphere of Venus, and it could cause supercooled water to freeze and precipitate, then this could be detected from orbit.  Precipiation would occur at a higher temperature than would be expected if there were no such particles/organsms.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#39 2012-07-25 18:38:01

ericwag
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Registered: 2012-07-25
Posts: 1

Re: Venus

Hey guys, I was reading Cosmos by Carol Sagan and had a thought about terraforming Venus. Would it be possible to suspend a tube from geocentric orbit down to the high press / high heat region of Venus to vent it directly into space. Similar to a space elevator concept, except with the purpose of ventilation instead of moving an elevator. The idea would be to use the high pressure and heat to create an upward draft. Additionally, using two vents oposite each other could add rotation to the planet by creating a locomotion effect similar to an Aeolipile / Hero engine.

The goal would be to reduce O2 levels to the point that it stems the run away greenhouse effect lowering temperatures as well as reducing atmospheric pressure. And potentially increasing planetary rotation using the locomotive force of the pressure escaping the planet.

Thoughts? Can you guys help me with the math. How long would this tube need to be? How much upward draft would the Venusian atmosphere create. How much external and internal pressure would the tube need to be able to withstand.

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#40 2012-07-25 18:53:09

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,790
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Re: Venus

Short answer: no.

A tube as high as space would have the vacuum of space at one end, atmospheric pressure at the other. Gravity currently keeps atmosphere on the planet, putting a tube around a portion of it won't change anything. You could add pumps every kilometre or so, but that would require power.

But one of the great advantages to Venus is it's atmosphere. We don't want to get rid of it, just convert CO2 gas into something solid, like trees. This is why I recommended converting to polyanhydride. That would convert both the carbon and oxygen at the same time.

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#41 2012-12-28 11:25:38

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Venus

I have a small thing to add concerning Venus which might help.

I think that mirrors placed in orbit could create hurricane like weather patterns.  The purpose would be to poke a hole in the cloud cover, to let wavelengths out that otherwise cannot get out.  Kind of like punching holes in the cover of a pot.  It should draw dryer air up to displace the sulphuric acid clouds to the sides.  The mirrors could be of a selected pigmentation so that they do not introduce solar energy below the cloud deck level.

It might also be possible to introduce asteroid dust into those openings, in the hopes that it would enter the sulphuric acid clouds at the sides and moderate the PH to a level more favorable to life, and additionally fertilize the hoped for H2O mists.

This might assist the notions of converting the atmosphere to organic solids.  Maybe.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#42 2012-12-28 15:45:41

Koeng
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Registered: 2012-09-05
Posts: 48
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Re: Venus

Void wrote:

I bought a Discover magazine today, and read an article, "The Clouds are Alive".  The point in the article is that it seems that microorganisms high up, almost to conditions resembling Mars, and also in the clouds, serve as a catalist to freeze supercooled water.

So, in a different way it might after all be possible that a microorganism could alter Venus.  The rain and snow patterns.  I presume that it does rain and perhaps snow in the atmosphere of Venus in some circumstances.

I don't know what value the alteration would have however.

The organisms would have to put up with UV, as this article indicates some of these organisms do.  I also have reservations on the existance of a place in the atmospheric column where the organisms would not be burned up by Sulphuric Acid.  I do recall that Sulphuric Acid is an Oxidant.  If in very diluted conditions, it could actually be used by an organism in place of Oxygen perhaps.  Not sure.

Anyway something to think about.

Curiously, if there were already such an organism in the atmosphere of Venus, and it could cause supercooled water to freeze and precipitate, then this could be detected from orbit.  Precipiation would occur at a higher temperature than would be expected if there were no such particles/organsms.


Just wanting to say: the essential elements for life is Carbon Hydrogen Nitrogen Oxygen Phosphorus Sulfur.
Venus lacks phosphorus, and doesn't have much hydrogen. Later I will post my revised "plan" for terraforming Venus with micro organisms.

-Koeng


Lets terraform today!

www.terraformingforum.com

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#43 2012-12-28 17:47:57

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Venus

Yeah, I did think of the Hydrogen part, but I figured why spoil the party, just order some more Hydrogen when you run out maybe?  For Venus, certain extra liberties shoud be granted, and a merit badge for even dairing to try. smile


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#44 2012-12-28 21:58:11

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,513
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Re: Venus

I always wonder... when we finally have amassed enough resources to terraform Venus, will we already be so advanced that we don't need to change the environment there?   What about genetic modification, and uploading.  What about building habitats in space from planetary and asteroidal material, where needed?


-Josh

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#45 2012-12-29 05:47:08

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Venus

Well, it is really hard to be confident about a projection, because the psychology of Earth and "Younger" cultures will change, and the motivations therefore, and the technological paths as well.  But I will speculate.

Once the Moon is usable, I would think it is only a matter of time before someone takes their affairs to Mercury.  If the challenges there are mastered, the materials, and energy could push that location to the forefront of human affairs.  I think it might be some time before it gets started because interest will be with the Moon, Mars, and the Asteroids.

But when Mercury gets going, I would think it would just keep growing to the limits of the volitile materials, and then in order for them to purchace them from the outer solar system, they would have to export metals I suppose.

Venus would perhaps come into the picture after that.  If no other solution were availible, I would think the atmosphere would be mined.  It does not particularly contain anything Mercury would want, so perhaps CO2 and Nitrogen would be exported.

I am presuming technological advancements, but I have wondered if the atmosphere of Venus could be microwaved to make it bubble up, and turn to a magnetic plasma, and if that could be collected magnetically.  As I said, I am presuming technological advancements, and presuming a massive industrial capability both from Mercury and the Earth/Moon.

But Venus would be a latestarter if that is how it happens.

As for the human race deviating from it's current form, and having different motivations, that is a real possiblity.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#46 2012-12-30 08:41:35

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,102
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Re: Venus

I'm fairly certain Mercury has sufficient volatiles for quite some time after initial colonisation. It's pretty much Luna taken much closer to the sun, with the increase in solar volatiles implantation that that entails. There's plenty of ice in the polar craters, and the poles are going to be where the colonisation happens. Plus there's plenty of energy, so cracking oxygen out of the rocks won't be that expensive. Because of the energy available there, I can quite easily see Mercury trading refined metals with the rest of the solar system, possibly using solar sails - the closeness to Sol is their biggest advantage.

As for Venus, how hard would it be to send a few Jupiter Trojans to it using the Interplanetary Transport Network? It may take a few decades, but it's probably the cheapest way of importing water, and from Terra's point of view might be safer. Maybe launch them in blocks of ice a few hundred meters in diameter, coated to stop them evaporating when they get into the inner solar system. If, in the process, we build up excess reserves of Ammonia and CO2, I'm sure there are other potential buyers out there...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#47 2012-12-30 14:04:17

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Venus

The only piece missing is financing.  Some technological method would almost surely exist, but who would be given the rights to own Venus, and to "Improve" it and to profit from then selling an improved Venus?

If someone has a financial motivation and the technological means, then I think yes.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#48 2012-12-30 18:51:08

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,102
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Re: Venus

Pfft. It'll be a GI generation, no? tongue

It's very questionable as to whether money will exist at that point, or if it does, whether much will be needed to redirect some of the Trojans. It could well be within the means of the Venusian colonists.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#49 2012-12-30 21:19:59

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Venus

Well time will tell, and those with ears will hear.

GI genaration.  Yes actually they were pretty great.  I have not quarel with them what so ever.  But they had actually run to the end of their means, so I guess you have to also say that the Silent and the Baby Boomers did something that was needed to reset the machine.  To bad for the 13's though. Or maybe it's all balony.  By the way thanks to you and the other guy.  I have to shut down, I overheat if I continue too long.  A short visit by me is sweeter.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#50 2013-04-18 21:07:56

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,513
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Re: Venus

To continue a discussion from another thread:

Robertdyck wrote:

A terraforming organism is not uniquely my idea, it's a refinement of Carl Segan's idea. And yes, it would require something to get phosphorus up into the clouds. As for polyanhydride stability, that would require some research. Speculation will do nothing. Stuff manufactured today is a co-polymer of something deliberately designed to decompose. It's used as a time delay delivery method for drugs. Without that other thing, polyanhydride is much stronger. And it would require something strong on the ends of each molecule (it's a long chain polymer).

"Terraformer wrote:

I wonder what sort of catchment area we'd need to use solar hydrogen to convert most of the CO2 to water... it would certainly be a megastructure...

The best idea I've seen for getting rid of the CO2 is to convert it into carbonates with metal dust from Mercury. Alternatively, if we can get the temperature low enough for it to liquefy (using mass produced reflective aerostats, forming a sort of foam, perhaps?) we might be able to garden the crust to get it to react away much of the CO2 seas.

Robertdyck:

It may not be uniquely your idea, but this kind of complete modification of an organism's genome is totally beyond our capabilities at present.  It presupposes a complete knowledge of the internal functioning of the cell, as well as an assumption that it is actually possible to remove all elements other than CHONSP from the biological machinery of the cell.  While my understanding of biology is not the strongest, it is my understanding that metal cations (read: not CHONSP) are necessary to get many ions into solution, and that a certain level of salt is necessary in a cell.  It will take a lot more than splicing in a couple of genes from a different organism to create the species that you're talking about-- it would be much more akin to creating your own life form.  I don't doubt that it will be possible in the long term (perhaps by the time terraformation of Venus begins, I suppose) to do so, but I'm not sure it's reasonable to baseline to that.

With regards to polycarbonate specifically, neither google nor Science Magazine provides any helpful hints with regards to the decay of polycarbonate polymers.  Additionally, the polycarbonate species about which you are talking, composed solely of [-C(=O)-O-] units has not so far as I can tell ever been synthesized.  This is not a matter of technology but rather a matter of physics.  Take a look at the wikipedia entry on Oxocarbons, a class of chemicals of which your proposed polymer will be a member.  If you notice, most of the stable compounds tend to have a stoichiometric excess of Carbon over oxygen.  Those that do not have this excess, such as this one and this one are very unstable with respect to decomposition to gaseous carbon dioxide.  The reason for this is quite fundamental, in that any compound of carbon and oxygen in a 1:2 ratio will have a similar enthalpy of formation to Carbon dioxide, but lower entropy.  While much testing may not yet have been done on the matter, there are good physical reasons to believe that the polymer would not be stable in the long term, especially not in the high temperature (735 K!) on the surface of Venus.

By the way, I noticed that you are a frequent poster in the Mars-DC Yahoo group.  Are you just there for the discussion or do you come down from Canada on occasion?

Terraformer-

My largest concern with the importation of metals from Mercury would be the energy required.  Delta V from Mercury surface to Venus transfer orbit is 11 km/s (60 MJ/kg).  It would be necessary to send 3.5e20 kg of Aluminium to eliminate the 4.5e20 kg of CO2 in the Venusian atmosphere via the "reverse smelting" reaction, so to speak (4 Al + 3 CO2 -> Al2O3 + 3 C) and a similar amount (talking orders of magnitude) for carbonates.  This is a tremendous operation.

We have spoken previously about the possibility of sequestering the carbon dioxide by stuffing it down one of Venus' many active volcanoes.  I don't know what effect this would have on the geology of the planet (would it simply escape, in time?) but if we're talking chemical means of sequester I think it makes the most sense to use oxalic acid.  This is a fairly stable chemical with formula H2C2O4 (2.2% Hydrogen by weight).  It is a mild toxin in humans, but is a solid at room temperature and would simply have to be buried to be removed from the biosphere.  It is already produced in small quantities by some organisms, so it seems reasonable that, starting from a gene splice, it would be possible to use artificial selection to obtain much higher rates.  Hydrogen import would total 1e19 kg.  Assuming local solar wind speed of 400 km/s and density of 4 protons/cm^3 (twice what I tend to assume for Earth, because it's closer).  Assuming you only have the surface area of Venus to work with, it would take 104 billion years to obtain the hydrogen to do this.  Importation will be necessary, perhaps from Neptune or Uranus.

Venus is a tough nut to crack.


-Josh

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