Venus’ atmosphere has the pressure to crush metal. Its heat can melt lead, and its clouds are made up of sulfuric acid. The planet is sounds pretty inhospitable, but could Venus be our best choice for space colonization?
Scientist talk often about colonizing Mars, but the possibility of colonizing Venus is potentially better. Venus is closer, making the effort to inhabit the planet cheaper and faster. Venus’ gravity is similar to that of Earth’s, in contrast to Mars’ weak gravity, which poses severe health risks. A downside to Venus colonization is the extreme pressure, heat, and acidity of the atmosphere. This could be avoided at about 50km above the planet’s surface. At this altitude, a person in the open would still need protection, but not a space suit. NASA’s new High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC), which is basically a floating base, addresses this possibility.