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Perhaps a better question would be "Why not?"


After all, humanity has had a permanent presence in Low-Earth Orbit for 20+ years, and there are legitimate efforts currently underway to extend our footprint to the Moon and even to Mars. So ... why not Venus?

In fact, the Venusian atmosphere may be the only non-Earth location in the solar system where humans may be able to exist on a long-term basis.

At approximately 50km above the Venusian surface:


Gravity is ~1G (almost identical to Earth)


Radiation Protection

Radiation protection is similar to Earth



Pressure is ~1 ATM (almost identical to Earth)



Temperature is ~25° C / ~77° F


Given that Venus and Earth are of a similar size (Venus' radius = 0.95 Earths) and mass (Venus' mass = 0.82 Earths), the surface gravity on Venus is almost identical to that of Earth (Venus' gravity = 0.9G). In other words, if you weighed 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 90 pounds on Venus.   


Temperature is in the favourable 'liquid water' range of 0-50°C.


Venus has radiation protection similar to that of Earth, but not in the way you might expect.


As ultraviolet light from the Sun bombards the planet’s outer atmosphere, it excites gases (known as ions), that form the ionosphere. When the Sun’s magnetic field interacts with these excited ions, it induces a magnetic field, which envelops the planet, similar to the shape of a teardrop. As a result, incoming solar winds blow past Venus and are diverted outward into the solar system.


Pressure is approximately 1 bar / 1 ATM (almost identical to Earth at sea level). 

Of course, there are downsides, including: the atmosphere is primarily carbon dioxide, and the clouds are mostly sulfuric acid. However, these obstacles can be overcome with breathing apparatus and acid-resistant materials.

So ... rather than live underground on the Moon or Mars and risk the unknown long-term effects of reduced gravity, why not live in a structure floating in the Venusian atmosphere?

The question may no longer be "why?" or "why not?, but rather, "when?"

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