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#1 2015-08-11 17:28:20

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Inflatable towers in Venus

What if we built one on Venus that was 50 km tall? I think the best place to do that would be at the North or South Poles of Venus, that way the wind is not super-rotating as fast, and you also eliminate the problem of those very long nights and days on Venus due to the planet's slow rotation. You build a dome on top of the tower where humans live and its anchored to the ground and stays in place at a fixed geographic location.

6b67bb3561e648efdfa2b45236b1e229
Imagine this on Venus, instead of a runway on top, you have a dome and perhaps a landing pad for Venusian shuttles.
Of course the purpose on Venus is not to launching things into space, but to have a stable platform on which to build a manned Venus Base. At the bottom of the tower are rovers and mining equipment that mine the crust and haul the materials up the 50 km tower to build more structures on top, and maybe construct additional inflatable towers.

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#2 2015-08-11 19:32:26

SpaceNut
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Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,828

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

There are multiple reasons for this not working on Venus as the base would be exposed to 90 atmospheres and that would require way more than that to inflate the first chamber to allow for it to support the next higher section. Then there is the acidic atmosphere as well,

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#3 2015-08-12 06:13:33

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

The inflation pressure has to be higher than the surrounding atmosphere, the fabric of the sleeve only has to deal with the difference between the external pressure and the internal pressure, and also not melt under the heat. It could even be a pressurized metal tube, the gas pressure still holds it up. Thing is the gas inside allows the structure to be light.

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#4 2015-08-12 11:27:42

Antius
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From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

If the tower tapered as it ascends and contains a lighter than air gas, it may be possible to devise a structure where bouyant forces precisely balance the compressive forces from the weight of the tower.  This would negate the need for pressurisation.  At Venus temperatures you would be stuck for materials that remain leak tight and retain sufficient compressive strength.  Steel would be a good choice up to the acid layer.  At 500C it retains about half its room temperature strength, which is still plenty strong enough if we can take advantage of bouyant effects.

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#5 2015-08-12 18:16:25

Tom Kalbfus
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Posts: 4,401

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Antius wrote:

If the tower tapered as it ascends and contains a lighter than air gas, it may be possible to devise a structure where bouyant forces precisely balance the compressive forces from the weight of the tower.  This would negate the need for pressurisation.  At Venus temperatures you would be stuck for materials that remain leak tight and retain sufficient compressive strength.  Steel would be a good choice up to the acid layer.  At 500C it retains about half its room temperature strength, which is still plenty strong enough if we can take advantage of bouyant effects.

It doesn't have to be lighter than air, it just has to be lighter than the structural support members you would otherwise use to support the tower, in other words steel girders. The compressive strength is taken up  by the internal gas pressure up against the weight of the tower above, since gas doesn't weigh as much as steel for the given amount of pressure, as it is less dense, I think something like carbon-dioxide or nitrogen would work, as it is less dense than steel, while supplying the compressive strength that steel would produce. The containment vessel of the gases would need to have a high tensile strength, but for most solid materials, tensile strength is usually greater than compressive strength, that is to contain the compressed gases within so it doesn't explode.. A traditional space elevator also uses tensile strength, such as carbon nanotube while hanging down from orbit, the same material doesn't have as much compressive strength to support a tower from the ground, but the nanotubes could be used to reinforce the gas containment vessels that support the tower, most of the volume of the tower would be compressed gases, and the weight would not build as quickly with height as would solid structural supports. Now if the tower was wide enough you could refrigerate the tank walls so they would be stronger, and the tower itself could act as a giant radiator, it would radiate heat from the higher cooler altitudes and circulate cooled gases around the tank wall structures to keep the cold. In fact with a wide enough tower, you could send humans down to the surface, mine that surface for additional materials to construct more towers. By increasing the humidity in the upper Venusian atmosphere, one could support plant life in the upper towers. A cluster of such towers would expand outward from the Venusian poles, creating a "forest effect" that would slow down the super rotation of the planet's atmosphere. All that wind blowing past could power windmills and that energy could be put to good use. Maybe cross links between the towers would help maintain their erectness. Imagine if we could cover the entire planet's surface with such towers, using reproducing machinery, this would increase the surface area of the planet, it could reflect more light into space and shadow the planet below, thus cooling it, and those towers could provide apartments and tower farms for many billions of people.

th?&id=JN.u49Dj7uEXkrt6fdeuZDK5Q&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0
Imagine Venus as a city planet like the fictional Coruscant of Star Wars, even that would be a big improvement over what Venus is now. Of course this would contain way more living space than our current human population needs, the towers would produce shadows below, much of the tower structure would house "terraforming machinery" basically making the planet more habitable, and the humans living in the towers can move to lower floors as the planet got cooler.

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#6 2015-08-13 11:37:27

Antius
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From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

At a certain altitude in the Venusian atmosphere, the pressure and temperature of CO2 approaches the liquidus point.  A tower that reaches that altitude could therefore provide a constant flow of cold liquid CO2 to ground level, where it could provide cooling for a surface settlement.  The pumping power requirement would be zero, as liquid CO2 would drain by gravity through the pipe.  The potential energy of liquid CO2 at say 30-40km height would easily be enough to power the liquefaction process if the CO2 flowed through turbines on the way down.

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#7 2015-08-13 12:22:42

Tom Kalbfus
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Posts: 4,401

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Another thing is if we covered the surface of the whole planet with these towers inflated by Carbon dioxide, this would lower the atmosphere. You can separate out the nitrogen by freezing out the carbon-dioxide and releasing the nitrogen back out into the atmosphere. The carbon-dioxide would then remain within the towers and with that we would have gotten rid of one of the problems of terraforming Venus. Such tall towers if close enough together would also shadow Venus quite a bit, and if we give those towers shiny mirror like exteriors, they would reflect visible sunlight right back out into space thus preventing the light's absorption by the ground and reradiating as infrared that would get trapped in the atmosphere. And of course we would want to import water. A city planet would need less water than Earth, as that water would be artificially distributed across the planet and there would be no oceans, the sky would be filled with clouds however as the water in the atmosphere on Earth is just a tiny fraction of Earth's total water supply.

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#8 2015-08-13 14:45:37

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

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

I suppose I should know better, but.....

Actually, I can see opportunity to store SO2 in certain parts of such towers.  Having done that, you interrupt the process where SO2 and H2O are combined with UV to produce Sulfuric Acid.

As for visible light, if you continue the towers high enough, yes, at the start to cool the situation, reflection, but if a planet wide process, then later, inclined tops of such towers with terracing either convex, or concave (Preferred in my opinion).  Since Venus has 2X light, and plants only need 1/10th light, optimally 20 times the amount of vegetation, and a greater surface area.

_        _
|_   _|
   |_|

A reminder, Sulfuric acid decomposes to H2O and SO2 if you heat it up, as in lower down in the atmosphere of Venus.

So Hurray!  I think you've got it!

As for water, I think their is enough to dampen all surfaces, no need for reservoirs, so maybe no need to import water, or anything. smile

Don't waste time wondering what I think you think of me, don't care.

Last edited by Void (2015-08-13 14:48:36)


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

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#9 2015-08-14 03:07:01

Antius
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From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Even liquid CO2 would cover Venus to a depth of almost a kilometer.  To store it as a gas at 90+ bars you would need to cover the planet in towers at least 10km tall.

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#10 2015-08-15 11:06:11

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

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

As far as I am concerned this could start humble.  I am building in part on what others provided.

As I see it, yes towers/containers in the polar areas.  Store Sulfur Dioxide if possible, reduce the "Acid Rain" potential of the planet.
As for the tops, they could be constructed to slowly spin on a 24 hour rotation, perhaps making the environment more compatible with the plants we have that evolved on Earth.f

How far to expand this an in what manner?  Plenty of time to figure that out.

Point is, I think this is a scheme competitive with the notion of inhabiting Mars.  Reduce the Acid, and at that point Venus may have much more to offer than Mars.

It's worth a continued think anyway.


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

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#11 2015-08-15 17:47:25

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,828

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

The inflation pressure has to be higher than the surrounding atmosphere, the fabric of the sleeve only has to deal with the difference between the external pressure and the internal pressure, and also not melt under the heat. It could even be a pressurized metal tube, the gas pressure still holds it up. Thing is the gas inside allows the structure to be light.

It has to widthstand the mass of the fabric as it rises into the air as well, then if it does compress the section now have a rising pressure from each sections mass as well to tolerate as it rises from the planets surface.

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#12 2015-08-15 19:20:22

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Void wrote:

As far as I am concerned this could start humble.  I am building in part on what others provided.

As I see it, yes towers/containers in the polar areas.  Store Sulfur Dioxide if possible, reduce the "Acid Rain" potential of the planet.
As for the tops, they could be constructed to slowly spin on a 24 hour rotation, perhaps making the environment more compatible with the plants we have that evolved on Earth.f

How far to expand this an in what manner?  Plenty of time to figure that out.

Point is, I think this is a scheme competitive with the notion of inhabiting Mars.  Reduce the Acid, and at that point Venus may have much more to offer than Mars.

It's worth a continued think anyway.

The planet's rotation becomes unimportant if you cover the whole planet with towers, as the ground would be in perpetual shadow, and artificial lighting can be provided down there according to a 24 hour cycle, as for those living in the towers, you can have shades to cover the windows when people wish to sleep during the day, and have artificial lighting when people wish to be up at night.

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#13 2015-08-18 21:10:05

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

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

I guess there is a difference in our visions.  You seem to lock onto a certain end situation for Venus, I am much more interested in the first "Buy In".  That is, I would be most interested in two polar communities, sequestering SO2, so as to deactivate the acid rain.

Also about the towers, I am not sure that pressurization has to be the end game on Venus.  I suspect that it has already been mentioned, but the best places to store unwanted substances would be lower down where the atmosphere is quite dense.  However to keep the towers erect, I see no problem with involving lighter than air sections.  N2 & O2 where temps are low.  N2 where temperatures are high.  Helium and/or Hydrogen where it was suitable.  In other words make each section neutral buoyancy (Approximately) by different gas mixes used to lift the solid materials of the apparatus itself.

As for lighting, yes your scheme could be valid, it by no means excludes other options as potentially valid as well.

I am quite excited by the notion that such methods might yield a place in space/time where an offshoot of humanity might escape molestation by cultural vampires bent on extracting life forces from a presumed inventive sub population.  Not putting all the eggs in one basket so to speak, and fighting against devolution of the human mind.


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

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#14 2015-08-19 16:59:18

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,828

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Antius wrote:

Even liquid CO2 would cover Venus to a depth of almost a kilometer.  To store it as a gas at 90+ bars you would need to cover the planet in towers at least 10km tall.

The 90 bars will drop as the co2 is liquified by cooling......

Void wrote:

As far as I am concerned this could start humble.  I am building in part on what others provided.

As I see it, yes towers/containers in the polar areas.  Store Sulfur Dioxide if possible, reduce the "Acid Rain" potential of the planet.

Agreed that coupled with the cooling that removing the Sulfur from the air would be a plus.

So now how do we add more water to aid in creating a new world?

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#15 2015-08-19 18:03:03

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

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

As I see it, the next few generations of humans should be considered ambitious, if they would have towers, floating cities (Oops! hope they don't crash into each other), and as mentioned in another thread floating "Ping-Pong" balls.

I would also presume that they would develop high temperature robots that could work on the surface.

Part of the surface is a Supercritical CO2 oven, which implies that opportunities for material wealth for humans could be associated with it.  Humans will just have to figure that out, just like they are presumed to eventually master stone tools.

Energy sources at the surface would presumably be nuclear (Either one), Wind, or Steam.

One item such robots could manufacture might be floating "Ping-Pong" balls.  Of whatever materials.  Antius made a suggestion on another thread.  It would have to be metal and/or silicates.  Alternately plastics if manufactured higher up where lower temperatures prevail.

Supposing manufactured on the surface with Metal/Silicates, the mass produced, injected with Nitrogen and released to float up to the clouds, where their surfaces would be moistened.  Of course nutrients are also needed, and protection from U.V. may be needed.

The clouds of Venus I believe are more Sulfuric acid at the colder tops, where Verga can form.  This rain may fall down far enough in the atmosphere where the Sulfuric Acid vapor resulting will also decompose into SO2 and H2O.  The H2O rises to the lower clouds, and eventually is recombined with SO2 to form Acid Rain again.

If the towers could suck in the upper cloud layer Sulfuric Acid and push it down the tower, then the elevated temperatures encountered would decompose the Sulfuric Acid to SO2, and H2O.  The SO2 could be sequestered into holding tanks far below, where the air pressure is very high.  The H2O might be conducted upwards and condensed to water, and that water might be allowed to fall all the way down to the bottom of the towers, generating electricity.  Of course thermal insulation on the pipes needed.

Once the water was at the bottom of the tower in an insulated tank on the surface of Venus, can I presume it can be used to power steam engines?  Superhot steam engines to power robots?

As I have indicated on another thread, I see the potential that the Ping-Pong balls with Algae growing on their surfaces could be harvested, the organic matter extracted and the Ping-Pong balls reused.

The hardest part of this is to deal with the U.V. I think.  But then unlike Mars, there will be a significant atmosphere above them.  Perhaps some algae could adapt to high U.V.?

Anyway, I don't intend a full terraform.

If you got a bunch of extra water at massive expense and had also waited hundreds/thousands of years for Venus to cool off on the surface, dumping large quantities of water on its surface would in my opinion result in massive super volcanos, of such a magnitude that they would be a danger to human survival on the planet.

I glad to get the eggs, I don't need to kill and eat the goose.


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

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#16 2015-08-19 22:06:06

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

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Err... (I will cool it soon and stop bogarting the web site).

Iron Pyrites.  I have been quite confused by this.  In one Sci-Fi by a some time ago popular author, it was suggested that Sulfur acted like a metal in a vacuum.  I think they might have intended to indicate it's structural strength.  Still I don't know.

Here is some more information I have gathered:
How does Iron Pyrite form?
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/inde … 659AAkTsrU
At what temperature does iron pyrite melt?
http://creationwiki.org/Pyrite
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/inde … 938AAtgJwQ
It is a salt.
Contradiction:
http://www.answers.com/Q/Can_pyrite_be_melted
Why is Sulfur a non-metal?
https://sites.google.com/site/elementsu … a-nonmetal

What I get from all of this, in normal air temperatures Iron Pyrite will decay in the presence of Earth Air and Moisture.

So this will help explain why it has not been put to use for much here on Earth.

Possibly the clouds of Venus would also cause it to decay. (Moisture, but not much Oxygen).
It appears that it will survive high temperatures, but not again in the presence of Earth air and Moisture.

Decomposing has been cited as 550 degC in one cases and melting at 1,177-1,188°C DegC? in another case.
Which is rather confusing.  I suspect that the 550 degC is in the presence of Air.

Where I am going, is I did not think that Iron Pyrite could survive on the surface of Venus.  There are two different surfaces.  1 is supercritical, and might dissolve it, and the other is not.  I think altitude is involved.

So I have some hopes after all of sequestering Sulfur in Iron Pyrites on the surface of Venus.  If a reaction with the atmosphere will still cause it to decay, then perhaps it can be encapsulated and kept away from the atmospheric gasses which offend.

However, I am hopeful, that this will not be necessary.  In fact, I have hope that Iron Pyrites will be less brittle at higher temperatures, and so be useful as parts in high temperature robots.

I wonder if materials could be included into it such as Silica, and Carbon (As Iron becomes Steel).

But maybe something else.

Point is, there was no reason to try to make Iron Pyrites a building material on Earth, because it would just decay, and give off Sulfuric Acid in the presence of Earth atmosphere and water vapor.

But.... (And I certainly do not know), I might hope that in one or both of the two surface environments on Venus (Supercritical (CO2) and not so), it will prove to be a useful machine material.
Otherwise, if encapsulating it will work, then there may be a means to sequester Sulfur from Sulfur Dioxide (Which contributes to Acid Rain), so as to improve the cloud environment of Venus.

Gonna take a rest now, unless someone actually and really wants me to respond to something.


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

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#17 2015-08-20 05:34:02

Antius
Member
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 1,003

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Will post in more detail later on.

Maybe your towers could be used to provide an energy source?  You have a superheated, dense atmosphere at ground level and much cooler but still relatively dense atmosphere just 30km up.  The cloud layer acts as insulation in between.  Build an OTEC type heat engine between the two atmospheric layers and you have a reliable perpetual energy source.

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#18 2015-08-20 11:31:32

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

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

That, falling condensate, an at the bottom, steam engines.

And then there are windmills.  Just for giggles, I have included a reference to a very unconventional wind generator.

http://www.gizmag.com/ewicon-bladeless- … ine/26907/

It uses an excitation charge and water droplets and wind to generate electrical energy.  Don't know if this would make sense on Venus.

Perhaps a method would be to first direct Sulfuric Acid/Water down to a heat where it would decompose into H2O & S2 vapors, and then bring that back up and cool it down to condense the H2O and separate out the S2 for sequestering.  Then drop the H20 down the tower, generating electricity.

Then you might do the water droplet thing for generating electricity, but the droplets would vaporize quite fast I suspect, so perhaps it might be possible to;

Heat the water to steam, give the steam a positive electric charge. Vent the steam to atmosphere, at a location where the wind will pull the positively charged steam away, presumably generating additional electrical power.

However, how much electricity is needed?  I think more conventional windmills attached to the tower would generate plenty, so drop the water all the way down to the surface of Venus in insulated pipes, and use it for cooling, and to power steam powered robots.

Or as I think you might have been moving, generate electricity with water moving down pipes, and then generate power with hot steam moving up pipes?

Or other schemes.


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

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#19 2015-08-20 11:49:21

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Void wrote:

Err... (I will cool it soon and stop bogarting the web site).

Humphrey_Bogart_1942.jpg
What does he have to do with it?

Void wrote:

Iron Pyrites.  I have been quite confused by this.  In one Sci-Fi by a some time ago popular author, it was suggested that Sulfur acted like a metal in a vacuum.  I think they might have intended to indicate it's structural strength.  Still I don't know.

Here is some more information I have gathered:
How does Iron Pyrite form?
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/inde … 659AAkTsrU
At what temperature does iron pyrite melt?
http://creationwiki.org/Pyrite
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/inde … 938AAtgJwQ
It is a salt.
Contradiction:
http://www.answers.com/Q/Can_pyrite_be_melted
Why is Sulfur a non-metal?
https://sites.google.com/site/elementsu … a-nonmetal

What I get from all of this, in normal air temperatures Iron Pyrite will decay in the presence of Earth Air and Moisture.

So this will help explain why it has not been put to use for much here on Earth.

Possibly the clouds of Venus would also cause it to decay. (Moisture, but not much Oxygen).
It appears that it will survive high temperatures, but not again in the presence of Earth air and Moisture.

Decomposing has been cited as 550 degC in one cases and melting at 1,177-1,188°C DegC? in another case.
Which is rather confusing.  I suspect that the 550 degC is in the presence of Air.

Where I am going, is I did not think that Iron Pyrite could survive on the surface of Venus.  There are two different surfaces.  1 is supercritical, and might dissolve it, and the other is not.  I think altitude is involved.

So I have some hopes after all of sequestering Sulfur in Iron Pyrites on the surface of Venus.  If a reaction with the atmosphere will still cause it to decay, then perhaps it can be encapsulated and kept away from the atmospheric gasses which offend.

However, I am hopeful, that this will not be necessary.  In fact, I have hope that Iron Pyrites will be less brittle at higher temperatures, and so be useful as parts in high temperature robots.

I wonder if materials could be included into it such as Silica, and Carbon (As Iron becomes Steel).

But maybe something else.

Point is, there was no reason to try to make Iron Pyrites a building material on Earth, because it would just decay, and give off Sulfuric Acid in the presence of Earth atmosphere and water vapor.

But.... (And I certainly do not know), I might hope that in one or both of the two surface environments on Venus (Supercritical (CO2) and not so), it will prove to be a useful machine material.
Otherwise, if encapsulating it will work, then there may be a means to sequester Sulfur from Sulfur Dioxide (Which contributes to Acid Rain), so as to improve the cloud environment of Venus.

Gonna take a rest now, unless someone actually and really wants me to respond to something.

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#20 2015-08-20 16:06:43

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

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Well, he is still quite the dude.

It is a saying that means that I am dominating, or hogging the show.  A good thing if you are making a movie and are a movie star, but not perhaps a good thing here.


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

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#21 2015-08-21 16:05:35

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

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

For the problem of UV light on Venus AND MARS, perhaps what is in this article.
http://solstation.com/life/ven-life.htm

In 2004, Schulze-Makuch and his colleagues announced their speculations that such microbes may survive in Venusian clouds with the help of molecular rings of sulphur to shelter from the Sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation as Venus does not have a protective layer of ozone in its atmosphere. Patterns of absorption in the UV spectra of Venus suggest that its atmosphere may contain lots of "cycloocta-sulphur", molecular rings of eight sulphur atoms. Such compounds double bonds that readily absorb UV light, then re-radiate the energy at relatively harmless visible wavelengths.

Doing that, perhaps some type of Cyanobacteria could be caused to grow on either planet, even in early stages of terraforming, when little or no UV protection was available.  Martian soils tend to contain significant Sulfur I believe.

Of course I am thinking of the ping pong balls which might float in and be moistened by the clouds of Venus.


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

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#22 2015-08-22 13:07:10

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Void wrote:

For the problem of UV light on Venus AND MARS, perhaps what is in this article.
http://solstation.com/life/ven-life.htm

In 2004, Schulze-Makuch and his colleagues announced their speculations that such microbes may survive in Venusian clouds with the help of molecular rings of sulphur to shelter from the Sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation as Venus does not have a protective layer of ozone in its atmosphere. Patterns of absorption in the UV spectra of Venus suggest that its atmosphere may contain lots of "cycloocta-sulphur", molecular rings of eight sulphur atoms. Such compounds double bonds that readily absorb UV light, then re-radiate the energy at relatively harmless visible wavelengths.

Doing that, perhaps some type of Cyanobacteria could be caused to grow on either planet, even in early stages of terraforming, when little or no UV protection was available.  Martian soils tend to contain significant Sulfur I believe.

Of course I am thinking of the ping pong balls which might float in and be moistened by the clouds of Venus.

I think if a ping pong ball was inflated with hydrogen, helium or whatever, it still would not float. One time I inflated an inflatable life raft with helium and it did not float in the air. What a disappointment it was. I had a spare tank of helium and wanted to see what would happen if I inflated the life raft with helium, but it did not float, it was indistinguishable from a life raft full of air, though the helium filled one lost its helium faster! I think a ping pong ball filled with helium would fall if let go in the Venusian atmosphere, and then it would melt!

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#23 2015-08-22 20:01:23

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

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

Perhaps a literal ping pong ball, but if you can make a floating city float on Venus, then I am sure you can create a sphere of material an fill it with Nitrogen and it will float.  It just depends on the mass of the shell vs the displacement volume of the "Ball".  Larger I believe will hold more displacement volume per mass of shell, then smaller.  And then also it may be that the shell itself can be of lighter construction, but if using a strengthener like Carbon fibers, could be sufficiently strong to have a sufficient working life.  I am actually thinking that it should be made of materials mostly from the atmosphere itself.

As I say, if you plan to make a city float with people and their life support, I am sure that you can make "Fiber reinforced" "Plastic Balls" (Or other shapes) float in a CO2 atmosphere.

I used ping pong ball as an illustration, and wanted to convey the notion that if they bumped into each other at reasonable forces, or a floating city or a tower, they should not cause significant damage, with would be an attribute I would think is desired.

If this were to work, and the UV problem were overcome, and also the acid nature of the clouds was within the survival range of some Cyanobacteria/Algae, then the total light impinged area would be enormous (Supposing the clouds were loaded with them around the planet).

The clouds should diffuse the light, so that it scatters, and tends to imping on all surfaces of the balls.

A potentially huge biosphere I think, and the organic result should be usable to build a food chain, and plastics industry.  Possibly Carbon extracted by destructive distillation could be stored on the surface, perhaps buried under soil, thus freeing up some additional Oxygen.  (Which may or may not form Ozone or CO).  In either case it could be a useful alteration of the atmosphere of Venus.


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

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#24 2015-08-23 06:32:38

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

A tower however would stay in one place, or even a balloon that was anchored to the ground. The advantage of being in one place is you can conduct surface operations by remote control and have ready access to the habitable sphere. The Polar Regions have the least air movement relative to the ground, and they would be the best places to have anchored floating habitats. Also at the poles you have constant sunshine and a ready source of energy, it doesn't matter how slowly Venus rotates if you are at the poles. Interestingly enough it is also at the poles where you get the best radiation protection from solar flares since there is no magnetic field to channel charge particles towards the poles. There is no need to adjust to Venus's slow diurnal cycle if a floating habitat is anchored at the pole, the Sun just stays on the horizon, Venus hardly as any axial tilt at all. Since half of the Sun's disk will be blocked by the Venusian horizon at all times, and since the slanted Sun rays will be filtered by Venus' atmosphere, you are probably getting as much sunlight or less as you would receive on Earth. The UV protection would be great as well.

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#25 2015-08-23 08:27:45

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

Re: Inflatable towers in Venus

I think you did some very good thinking on the tower thing for Venus, and I agree with the points you have made that I have noticed, with a possible exception of UV protection, but there I might be wrong.

I would say the UV protection might be the best at the poles, but I am not sure that it would be "Great".

But nice work.

Last edited by Void (2015-08-23 08:28:53)


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

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