New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: As a reader of NewMars forum, we have opportunities for you to assist with technical discussions in several initiatives underway. NewMars needs volunteers with appropriate education, skills, talent, motivation and generosity of spirit as a highly valued member. Write to newmarsmember * gmail.com to tell us about your ability's to help contribute to NewMars and become a registered member.

#1 2021-07-27 05:12:30

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 913

Clockwork Steampunk power for Exploation of hot hellish Venus

Vid - NASA Engineers Want This Steampunk Rover
https://www.voicetube.com/videos/163634

NASA Engineers Want This Steampunk Rover to Uncover Venus’ Secrets

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/a-cloc … for-venus/

https://www.space.com/steampunk-venus-r … a-jpl.html

Blimp Concepts
https://wonderfulengineering.com/nasa-c … -to-venus/

Infatable Aircraft
https://www.spaceflightinsider.com/miss … s-mission/

One day a Floating Sky-City?
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio … _for_Venus

https://www.labroots.com/trending/space … by-airship

In Jones' team's plan, a crew would spend about 123 days travelling to Venus, explore the planet from the air for 30 days, and then spend another 287 days getting back to Earth (440 days total). The mission is still in the planning stages, but it is completely doable. It would require no new technology. In fact, NASA had plans for a manned flyby of Venus back in the 60's using Apollo hardware.

Can Venus ever have a manned colony? Its unlikley we will ever see manned Bio-Domes on Venus in the near future but NASA does have drawings for High Altitude Venus Operational Concept. NASA would send people in floating city balloons or that was the idea for a set of crewed NASA mission concepts to the planet Venus. NASA also had Venus ideas in the 1960s and 70s,  Manned Venus Flyby was a 1967–1968 NASA proposal to send three astronauts on a flyby mission to Venus in an Apollo-derived spacecraft in 1973–1974, using a gravity assist to shorten the return journey to Earth.All human portions of the missions would be conducted from lighter-than-air craft or from orbit.

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2021-07-27 05:41:16)

Offline

#2 2021-08-06 07:47:41

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 913

Re: Clockwork Steampunk power for Exploation of hot hellish Venus

Robotic balloons to explore Venus? An Oregon company is working on it
https://www.nwnewsnetwork.org/science-a … king-on-it

Turns Out, Venus (Almost) Has Tectonic Plates
https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sc … nic-plates

These 'Beach Animals' were created by Theo Jansen as a fusion of art and engineering. The kinetic structures walk on their own and get all their energy from the wind

https://twitter.com/thePiggsBoson/statu … 2834941958
...just 'Art'?

or a possible engineer idea for exploring planets?

Offline

#3 2021-08-06 15:51:06

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,616

Re: Clockwork Steampunk power for Exploation of hot hellish Venus

For Mars_B4_Moon re new topic and contributions in general ...

This forum software lacks a feature that would allow fine tuned positive feedback.  All we have is the blunt instrument of another post, which puts the unfortunate member in the visible field for the topic, in place of your Username.  For that reason, I often (or mostly) keep quiet when members add value to the forum.  However, you've built up quite a head of steam, and this most recent post is simply ** outstanding **. The artwork of Theo Jansen as inspiration for probes of Venus surface and other hard-to-explore environments is (to me) stunning!

This idea would be a fruitful field for mechanical engineers to find a place in space exploration, if only we had someone willing to take the lead.  You've certainly done your part, by setting a flag on the field of play!

If, by any chance, a Mechanical Engineer or a team is inspired by the vision of Jansen as translated by Mars_B4_Moon, please read Post #2 of Recruiting.   We have received applications from four individuals so far, but none are yet engaged in publicly visible development of value for the forum, for the Mars Society and for human advancement away from Earth.  They are all, without exception, hard at work in their specializations in the education or commercial environment. 

I am looking for those who want to grab one of the many ideas floated in this forum and pursue it [publicly] so that forum members can be inspired to contribute.  I'm looking for a positive feedback loop.  We have members like Mars_B4_Moon (and Void, and many others) who are contributing sparks to lead to careers that are rewarding and fruitful.

(th)

Online

#4 2021-08-06 16:29:37

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,197

Re: Clockwork Steampunk power for Exploation of hot hellish Venus

Venus fits well with the Medieval description of hell.  Is there some pressing reason why we need to:send another space craft to get cooked and crushed by that hellish atmosphere?  What is the point in sending a rover to that literal hell hole?


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

Offline

#5 2021-08-06 19:51:36

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,616

Re: Clockwork Steampunk power for Exploation of hot hellish Venus

For Calliban re #4

You are certainly consistent !!!!

I would have to go back into the archive to be sure, but I have multiple memories of your expressing exactly that sentiment whenever someone gives you an opportunity.

It would seem clear that ** you ** are not going to invest any time or thought or anything else in the Venus problem.

However, there are over 7 billion people on Earth, and in all that variety of points of view, there are some who are fascinated by the technical challenges of mastering a very promising planet.  Venus is the ONLY location in the Solar System where the familiar 1 G we humans have evolved to expect is available.

The conditions on the surface of Venus are NOT permanent.  They are temporary, and they will change one way or the other with time.

(th)

Online

#6 2021-08-06 21:17:01

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,712

Re: Clockwork Steampunk power for Exploation of hot hellish Venus

Calliban,

At the correct altitude above the surface of Venus, that "hell hole" provides Earth-like gravity, Earth-like pressure, solar and cosmic radiation protection, more solar power than Earth offers, so thin film solar panels become very practical to use, and since the atmosphere contains clouds of sulfuric acid, which can be converted into potable water using the carbon dioxide.  Since fluoropolymer is impervious to sulfuric acid, we have a lightweight material suitable for making airship skins.  Oxygen is a lifting gas on Venus.  These airships can maintain altitude using thin film photvoltaics, possibly streaming from the airship's tail if need be, and they can literally circle the globe thanks to the super-rotation of the atmosphere.  Backup thermal power can be provided at night by using thermal gradients at different altitudes to run hot CO2 through a small turbine to produce electric power.  If anything, Mars is much closer to the description of the deepest levels of hell.

The only real technical challenges that Venus presents are getting there, which is easier than going to Mars, and staying aloft in the clouds for extended periods of time.  Since we already have military automated surveillance airships with 10 year "aloft times" on Earth, it's much more feasible to create extended duration floating platforms that are kept aloft through routine maintenance than it is to live in a cave or tunnel on a planet with half of Earth's sunlight, a tenuous atmosphere, too little radiation protection to remain on the surface, temperatures colder than the deepest Antarctic winter, and no limitless well of thermal power to draw from.

Offline

#7 2021-08-06 21:40:25

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,616

Re: Clockwork Steampunk power for Exploation of hot hellish Venus

For kbd512 re #6

Thanks for support of the Venus venture ...

SearchTerm:Venus defense of settlement of

Life in the atmosphere has been "explored" (in fiction) quite extensively.  I'm pretty sure there is a report stored somewhere in the forum archive about a novel published in "Analog" in recent times.  The author published a subsequent science fact article about the research he did to build his world concept.  He took some liberties to make a good story, but (I thought) much of the vision looked quite feasible.

Follow up: A post about the science fact article is here: http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 02#p171702

(th)

Online

#8 2021-08-07 16:07:40

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,197

Re: Clockwork Steampunk power for Exploation of hot hellish Venus

The airship idea might work for a small research outpost.  But can you seriously imagine hanging a city from an airship?  The Hindenburg, the largest aircraft ever made, had total lift of 250 tonnes, from a hydrogen envelope with volume 250,000 cubic metres.  Total volume of the Hindenburg was more than the Titanic.  It was about 200m long.  How big would that envelope need to be to lift a farm?  A steelworks?  A single swimming pool?  A factory of any kind?

The only way we will ever colonise Venus is after extensive terraforming.  That will be a long project, requiring that most of the suns energy is blocked out and surface temperatures drop low enough to allow the CO2 atmosphere to liquefy.  Once than is done, and it will take centuries, you will have a planet with a 5 bar nitrogen atmosphere, which is mostly covered with oceans of liquid CO2.  At that point, going there may be possible, but not before.


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

Offline

#9 2021-08-07 17:46:50

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,923

Re: Clockwork Steampunk power for Exploation of hot hellish Venus

I would like to participate.  I may put some here, and some in the topic "World Rings" in Terraforming.

I see Venus different than others, it would seem.

I see it as an oven full of good things.  But to get those things there will be a very high up front cost.

I think as most do, the Moon and Mars will come first.  This could give training and resources to do
Mercury, to have robotics and some humans on Mercury, but certainly not anytime soon to terraform Mercury.

For now it is great to develop robots that can work in the oven or float above the oven, to discover as
much information as possible.  It may not be apparent, but there are being developed electronics for such
high temperatures.  But they are not there yet.

When it became time to do Venus, I would seek three main parts.

-Orbital Ring.
-Atmospheric floating base.
-Very active ground mining machinery.

So, likely after research had been done on methods to travel and even mine the surface of Venus, and....
Probes had researched the atmosphere of Venus, then....
Build facilities in the orbit of Venus, with Skyhook technology....

Skyhooks should have been researched very well by that time.

Likely the first orbital facilities would be build from non-Venus materials.  The Moon, Mercury, and maybe
NEO's. Perhaps even from Mars/Phobos/Deimos.

But of these Mercury might be the best, as the solar wind and also photons, would be forces that can move
Materials to Venus, much like rivers used to move logs to a sawmill.

In my opinion, most people would not live in the atmosphere of Venus, but in orbit of it.  Robots would be
the main inhabitants of the cloud cities, and I would consider it rather stupid to send people to the surface.

However, by that time it would be likely that humans would have several optional bodies.  There own organic
on in orbit, and robotic ones in the Venus environment.  So you could walk or roll on the surface of Venus,
or fly through it's atmosphere. Neuralink type technologies might be involved.

With tethers, atmospheric materials could be dragged to orbit.

For Tether stuff and World Rings, see: Terraformation/World Rings

Sulphur and Carbon are two materials that could be used in orbit in addition to metals that might be imported
from elsewhere.  Nitrogen and Oxygen would provide atmospheres for space habitats in orbit of Venus.

So, I presume that Skyhooks, and Starship wanna bees, will link the orbital structures to the floating sky city.

I only want one city as I don't want them to bang into each other.  It could be as small as an island, however
you define that, or it could completely encompass the sphere of Venus, inside of it's atmosphere.

At this time I am favoring something the size of a major island to a small continent.  Having this then, what
could be accomplished?  Well you could mine the atmosphere, and if there were components you could not directly
scoop out of the atmosphere with tethers from a World Ring, you could send some up in rockets, possibly assisted
by skyhooks from a World Ring.

If you mined the atmosphere, then you could have Nitrogen, which can be a lifting gas, and Oxygen, which has it's
various uses, and liquid CO2.

By this time it should have been possible to develop robotic and energy systems that could function on the surface
of Venus, as is.  Now, to mine and extract, we need a atmospheric vehicle.  It would be robotic.  It would have
glide wings, and skid landing methods, I think.  Much of it would be heat tolerant.  It's interior would be filled
with relatively non-reactive Nitrogen/Argon for flotation purposes.  However it would have ballast tanks that could be
filled with Liquid CO2.  This would be to weight the glider down, to cool essential parts that needed it, and to
provide a boil situation that could power the device.

The thing would drop from the cloud city. Land on a runway, and pick up some payload.  As the CO2 ballast diminished,
it would become lighter and the remaining Liquid CO2 could power propellers to bring it back into the sky.
At a certain point when all the CO2 ballast was gone it would be lighter than air at say 10 bar on Venus. We would want
it to take a perch on our sky city at ~that pressure.

You see, for the sky city, I anticipate many floors, that would be very difficult for humans to inhabit, but not so
bad for robots.  10 Bars, means more flotation properties.  This city could be multistory.  Each floor perhaps
with it's own gas mixture and pressure.  Some airlocks may be needed.  Humans might inhabit upper floors.

You understand that about 10 bar, with a high temperature, Sulfuric Acid decomposes into Sulfur Oxides, and water
vapor.  Then you take as much of the water as you want.

So, Jump/Jump to orbit with materials.

The current surface of Venus is about 1/2 one kind of CO2 that can dissolve things, and the other 1/2 is where those
things can condense.  Thing like Lead and Bismuth.  But I would hope for so many other minerals.  I am not so sure
that we so much would want to change Venus but harmonize with it.

I will post this on World Rings as well as here.  Sorry about that. This was quite an effort for someone like me.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2021-08-08 08:26:30)


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

Offline

#10 2021-08-08 14:44:40

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 4,712

Re: Clockwork Steampunk power for Exploation of hot hellish Venus

Calliban,

This is only some random thoughts in response:

While the size of the Hindenberg made it unwieldy for landing on Earth and its Hydrogen lifting gas made it flammable in an oxidizing atmosphere, the operating environment on Venus presents a very different set of design challenges.  There are no mountain ranges to avoid, the winds encountered are pretty uniform in the direction they blow in and speeds, Hydrogen is not nearly so flammable in a nearly pure CO2 atmosphere, and because the density of that CO2 atmosphere is markedly different from an Earth atmosphere, less lifting gas is required to achieve buoyancy.  If pure H2 is still too difficult to manage, then CH4 is also a lifting gas in a CO2 atmosphere.  The primary advantage of CH4 is easier storage, greatly reduced losses through the gas bag envelopes because Methane molecules are larger than Hydrogen molecules, and the fact that Methane is also rocket propellant, so the propellant ullage from the ship that brought the colonists there could be collected and compressed into storage tanks just prior to atmospheric reentry.

For a colony with a primary habitation technology set based upon fibers and plastics, what significant requirement would prospective Venusian colonists have for large quantities of steel or other metals?

Why would fluoropolymer aeroponics greenhouses inflated to slightly above atmospheric pressure not work for them?

We have no shortage of CO2 to pump in to help the plants grow.  At 60km where the atmospheric pressure is close to 1 bar, if you don't make a serious effort to stay very near to the equator and at 60km in altitude, the temperatures are frosty cold, to the point that you'd probably need a light jacket indoors.

ESA - Venus atmosphere variation in temperature

The average American adult eats 907kg of food per year, so 250t of lifting force is enough food to feed 250 American adults for an entire year.

Why would we limit ourselves to Zeppelin-type airships?

Why can't we use toroidal airships with suspended inflatable modules made with BNNT fiber-reinforced fluoropolymer shells?

We will use inflatable furniture for sitting on, inflatable storage for dishes / towels / food, air beds to sleep on, walk upon slightly squishy / semi-rigid floors so women and children can wear socks or walk around barefoot in the home, and use prudent precautions against fire or piercing the envelope of the habitation modules.  Electrical wiring will use CarbonX insulating fabric instead of plastic, kitchen knives will be secured to the kitchen so they don't accidentally pierce the hull (we can use Aluminum blades, if need be, which will never make it through BNNT or CNT fabric), and Halon will suppress fires.  We would likely use solar ovens, which would be particularly effective there, and wrap them in a thick CarbonX fabric to keep the exteriors cool to the touch.

Venusians living amongst the clouds there will have solar panels that are more effective at collecting sunlight than pretty much anywhere else in the solar system, including Earth, there's no fine abrasive atmospheric dust to deal with, small wind turbines will be incredibly effective at generating electricity, and they have a functionally limitless well of aero-thermal power (hot pre-compressed CO2 collected from below) to draw from during the night.  The night temperature fluctuations won't require significant thermal insulation, either.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB