Cloud City On Venus?
It's not easy to find comfortable places to stay elsewhere in the solar system. However, Geoffrey Landis, a scientist at NASA's Glenn Research Center, suggests that Venus might be a good place to look.
I know what you're thinking. Venus? Surface temperature of 490 degrees centigrade with about 92 times the atmospheric pressure of Earth's surface? Doesn't sound very hospitable.
However, Landis, a science fiction writer in his spare time, suggests that we think a bit outside the box. In a recent interview, he suggested building a city in the clouds about fifty kilometers above the surface.
At that altitude, the atmosphere of Venus is at it's most Earth-like. The atmosphere has an air pressure of about one bar and the temperature ranges in the 0-50 degrees centigrade range. You'd need breathing apparatus, but probably not a space suit.
Landis adds that a city might not be as difficult to build - and to keep afloat - as you might think.
"Because the atmosphere of Venus is CO2, the gases that we live in all the time, nitrogen and oxygen, would be a lifting gas," Landis said. "On Earth, we know to get something to lift, you need something lighter than air. Well, on Venus, guess what? Our air is lighter than air, or at least lighter than the Venus atmosphere."
"If you could just take the room you're sitting in and replace the walls with something thinner, the room would float on Venus," he remarked.
SF fans are no doubt hoping that Lando Calrissian will be available to act as administrator; as long as you're building Cloud City, you might as well do it right.
(Cloud City above Bespin in Star Wars)
Cloud City is an installation on the planet Bespin, first seen in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. Bespin has a habitable layer from about 150 - 180 kilometers down from space with an oxygen atmosphere and normal pressure.
Update 18-Dec-2016: Take a look at this early reference to the idea of cities floating in the atmosphere of Venus in Fritz Leiber's humorous 1958 short story Bread Overhead!. End update.
From Colonizing Venus with floating cities.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/23/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
3D Printed Dubai Building Is World's Largest
'This thing will start at one end of ...a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.' - Murray Leinster, 1945.
Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?' - Jane Webb Loudon, 1828.
Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...
Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Road Noise Charges Electric Cars With Peugeot Piezoelectric Billboard
''... major cities of Earth have free electrical power conveniently processed from their own noise.'
Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.'
M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...'
NASA 'Broomstick' Recalls SciFi Ideas
'The appearance was enough like a giant witch's broom to justify the nickname.'
Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'
Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'
Vascularized Human Skin 3D Printed
Trillionaires Still Earth-Bound
'I shall never forget the sight... when the yellow gleam of the precious metal appeared under the star dust.'
Digit V2 Bipedal Robot From Agility Robotics
Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.
3D Printed Dubai Building Is World's Largest
'This thing will start at one end of ...a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.'
Grow Plants On Moon Or Mars!
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.'
California Gets Shockwave Rider-Style Avoidance Zones
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'
Microbot Interstellar von Neumann Explorers
'Evidently they have never had a planet of their own...'
Hail SmartCan! Your Trash Bin Takes Itself Out
'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.'
Finally! Microsoft Surface Neo And Surface Duo Implement Excellent Courier Idea
'Runcible, whose pages were thicker and more densely packed with computational machinery...'
Tap Strap 2 Now With Air Mouse
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories