95 votes
Accepted

Would it be easier to put humans on Venus rather than Mars?

Technically, yes, it would be easier to put people on Venus. You need less of a kick for the interplanetary trip and slowing down is trivial with that dense atmosphere...one of the Pioneer Multiprobe ...
Christopher James Huff's user avatar
59 votes

Why was Venus rather than Mars targeted for the first interplanetary landings?

The reason is delta-v, which is a crucial concept in Spaceflight. It means change in velocity, and is the primary 'currency' that space mission have to expend in order to reach places in the solar ...
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi's user avatar
55 votes
Accepted

Could the Saturn V actually have launched astronauts around Venus?

It takes surprisingly little delta-v to reach Venus for a flyby -- about 3850 m/s from LEO instead of the 3200 m/s or so required to get to the moon -- so while the payload would have to be reduced ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
50 votes

Would it be easier to put humans on Venus rather than Mars?

As others have already pointed out, getting humans to Venus would be marginally easier than getting them to Mars. Let's consider survival on Venus in a little more detail though. Although there haven'...
Jerry Coffin's user avatar
48 votes
Accepted

What are the teeth on the edge of Venera 13 and 14?

The teeth served an aerodynamic function. ...metal teeth were added to the periphery of the impact ring in an effort to reduce the spin and oscillation during the descent and prevent the rough ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
47 votes
Accepted

When will we send floating probes to Venus?

When will we send? We already did. In 1985 and 1986 the Soviet Union sent two Vega probes to Venus. Both included a robotic balloon (usually called aerobots). The two balloon aerobots were ...
Ginasius's user avatar
  • 920
39 votes

Could a fan be used to prevent overheating on a Venus bound space probe?

Fans work by moving cool air (or other fluid) over a warm surface. If there is no air, like in space, a fan will serve no purpose. Cooling things in space is actually a bit tricky because of this - ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
37 votes

Why was Venus rather than Mars targeted for the first interplanetary landings?

We didn't know how hostile Venus's surface was, until we had landed there. The atmosphere of Venus makes it easier to land there than Mars. From Wikipedia, we learn: Before radio observations in ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
36 votes

Why is the atmospheric pressure on Venus so high?

The pressure exerted on a surface area under the ideal gas law is $P = \frac{\rho k_B T}{\mu}$ with the following notation: $\rho$ being the volume mass density (or simply density) $k_B$ is the ...
AtmosphericPrisonEscape's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

Why is there currently so little talk about a Venus gravity assist for a crewed Mars mission?

The Venus flyby does indeed make the mission shorter, but it has some pretty serious negative consequences as well. The mission spends much more time in deep space. Approaching the sun will increase ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
35 votes

When will we send floating probes to Venus?

Why are people so fascinated about Mars and not about Venus at all? The trivial answer - Mars is moderate place. A human could easily get around with a spacesuit, and it is trivial for robots and ...
Fattie's user avatar
  • 1,614
34 votes
Accepted

What if a Space Shuttle entered the atmosphere of Venus?

Can't speak to the trajectory aspects but the Orbiter crew compartment was very intolerant of crush pressure loading. The two negative pressure relief valves protect the crew compartment from being ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
34 votes

Could an acid-proof, solar-powered aircraft stay aloft on the sunny side of Venus more-or-less indefinitely?

Thanks to one of the links in the comments above, I was able to discover that NASA wrote a fairly detailed 27 page report back in 2004 on their investigation of this idea. The synopsis says Solar ...
phil1008's user avatar
  • 4,278
30 votes
Accepted

What altitude would an aphrodiosynchronous satellite need?

Is such an orbit even possible? TL;DR: If the Sun wasn't around, yes, such an orbit is possible. But since the Sun is around, such an orbit is impossible. About the name of the orbit Quoting from ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 74.8k
25 votes
Accepted

Potential high temperature power sources for a Venus lander

Thanks to @MarkAddler for his search suggestions I've tried to balance length against completeness, and both lost here. However I have included enough material to try to be convincing that RTGs, ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
25 votes

A balloon in the Venus atmosphere?

The Soviet Union actually deployed balloons on Venus, so I assume they studied them before that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vega_program#Balloon
Organic Marble's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

What happened to Mariner 2 after it flew by Venus?

After the close encounter with Venus on December 14, 1962, the last radio contact was on January 3, 1963. No tracking can be done after that as the spacecraft is too small and too far away. The ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
21 votes

Why was Venus rather than Mars targeted for the first interplanetary landings?

One picture is worth all your base to us. Before we sent probes to Venus we had no pictures of its surface. Whether it lands or not you have to penetrate the atmosphere of Venus to take pictures of ...
Mazura's user avatar
  • 576
21 votes
Accepted

When did planetary scientists realize Venus' surface pressure was almost 100x that on Earth? How did they find out?

The early Venera probe hulls were designed for an atmospheric pressure of 25 bar. Barometers were designed for 10 bar. This was in line with what was then assumed to be the surface conditions. At the ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
20 votes

Why is the Venus Climate Orbiter also called Planet-C?

It's the third in a series. Planet-A, "Suiseu" studied Halley's comet. Planet-B, "Nozomi" visited Mars. Looks like there's a Planet-D (PDF link) planned for visiting Venus, too.
Starfish Prime's user avatar
19 votes

Why is the atmospheric pressure on Venus so high?

The question you did ask: Why is the atmospheric pressure on Venus so high? The answer is that the mass of the atmosphere of Venus is very high compared to that of the Earth, by almost a factor of ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 74.8k
19 votes

When did planetary scientists realize Venus' surface pressure was almost 100x that on Earth? How did they find out?

The determination that Venus has a hellish surface is a great example of scientific detective work and its close association with technological advances that allow better and better measurements. In ...
Tom Spilker's user avatar
  • 18.3k
18 votes

How does Venus' thick atmosphere survive against the solar wind?

The mass of Mars is so small, and its magnetic field so weak that it cannot hold onto carbon for a long period of time, making almost all of it to escape. (Venus and Earth are close to identical in ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
18 votes

Could we see the surface of Venus after the explosion of a H-bomb in its atmosphere?

No, because thermonuclear weapons don't make holes in clouds, they make clouds. First you have a fireball: And then you get a big mushroom cloud: Neither the fireball or mushroom cloud are see-...
GdD's user avatar
  • 20.3k
18 votes

Why not bring life to Venus along with the next exploring mission?

Question: Why not bring cyanobacteria and fertilizer to the atmosphere of Venus to improve conditions for life there by producing oxygen ? ... Only a few scientists have speculated that ...
Rob's user avatar
  • 3,276
17 votes
Accepted

Was Venus once seriously believed to be lush under its cloud cover?

The same WP article on Venus in fiction referenced by the OP documents one specific scientist who believed, in a nonfiction sense, that Venus is indeed the world envisioned by mid-20th-Century writers:...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 8,505
17 votes

What does the discovery of phosphine mean for the future of venusian exploration?

What does the discovery of phosphine mean for the future of Venusian exploration? It certainly adds some impetus. However, The discovery has not yet been independently confirmed. This alone is very ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 74.8k
17 votes
Accepted

What is the subsurface temperature profile of Venus?

Due to thermodynamics, the temperature must increase. Heat flows from hot to cold, and can not go the other direction. If there is a cold pocket between the (hot) core and the (hot) atmosphere of ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
16 votes

When will we send floating probes to Venus?

No, there is no space race to Mars. The original space race was to orbit, for entirely military reasons. Sputnik was simply a demonstration of "we can drop a nuke anywhere we want, any time". The ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 1,922
16 votes
Accepted

A balloon in the Venus atmosphere?

Was there any proposal or study for a balloon in the Venus atmosphere? Yes and kudos to OrganicMarble's power of deductive reasoning! I am sure there have been several proposals or studies of this. ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k

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