Exploring Venus with an air ship

Over the years there have been those who have argued that Venus, not Mars, is the best place for humans to explore and even settle. They are not proposing that people go down into the poisonous atmosphere and onto the hellishly hot surface but instead to use habitats that float upon the dense atmosphere. The proverbial cloud cities of innumerable science fiction books and movies could eventually become feasible. Last summer I posted some links to such proposals: Colonies on the clouds of Venus.

A NASA group has released a study outlining an exploration program of Venus that is based on airships: NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities for Venus Exploration: Should crewed exploration of Venus come before we try to go to Mars? – IEEE Spectrum.

This video shows the architecture of such an exploration program:

NASA Langley researchers want to get a better idea about conditions on our nearest planetary neighbor, Venus, so they have come up with HAVOC or a High Altitude Venus Operational Concept – a lighter-than-air rocket ship that would help send two astronauts on a 30-day mission to explore the planet’s atmosphere. Exploration of Venus is a challenge not only because its smog-like sulfuric acid-laced atmosphere, but also its extremely hot surface temperature and extremely high air pressure on the surface.