(ORDO NEWS) — Guillermo Sonlein, co-founder of OceanGate Expeditions and founder of the space commodity exchange, recently shared his bold plan for the future of human space exploration. In his interview, he said that by 2050 a floating colony will be created on Venus, in the atmosphere of which up to 1000 people can live.
Often referred to as Earth‘s twin because of its similar size and mass, Venus presents a hostile environment for life. Surface temperatures capable of melting lead, atmospheric pressure 90 times Earth’s, and sulfuric acid rain all seem like an impossible task. However, Sonlein believes that there is a habitable zone at an altitude of about 30 miles above the Earth’s surface, where conditions are more moderate and a person can survive with proper protection.
To realize this vision, Sonlein plans to build a space station that can soar through Venusian clouds and withstand the corrosive effects of sulfuric acid. While it may seem ambitious, he argues that this is a more achievable goal compared to Elon Musk‘s goal of putting a million people on Mars by 2050 using SpaceX.
Zenlein’s proposal comes at a difficult time for OceanGate Expeditions, which he co-founded in 2009 with Stockton Rush. OceanGate specializes in the operation of submersibles for deep-sea expeditions, including visiting the wreck of the Titanic. Tragically, on June 18, while descending into the Atlantic Ocean, one of their submersibles, dubbed the Titan, exploded, killing all five people on board, including Rush. The cause of the accident is still being investigated, with former employees of the company voicing concerns about the safety and certification of the submersible.
Despite the bereavement, Sonlein remains convinced that researchers must be willing to take calculated risks in their quest to push the boundaries of the possible. He emphasizes that this tragedy should not interfere with the further study of carbon fiber submersibles as a means of exploring the ocean depths.
Venus is Earth’s twin with a hostile environment
Venus, often referred to as Earth’s twin because of its similar size and mass, has long attracted the interest of scientists. However, its harsh conditions make it inhospitable to life as we know it. With an average surface temperature of around 900 degrees Fahrenheit (475 degrees Celsius), Venus experiences a greenhouse effect caused by a dense atmosphere composed mostly of carbon dioxide.
Atmospheric pressure on Venus is 90 times higher than the earth, which is comparable to diving under water to a depth of 3 thousand feet (914 m). In addition, the planet is enveloped in clouds of sulfuric acid, which leads to the formation of caustic rain flows. Such extreme conditions make Venus an unlikely candidate for human colonization.
Finding habitable zones
The concept of habitable zones, also known as “Goldilocks zones”, refers to regions of the planetary system where conditions are optimal for life to exist. These zones are characterized by factors such as temperature, atmospheric composition, and the presence of liquid water.
While the habitable zone usually refers to the region around a star where liquid water can exist on the planet’s surface, Sonlein’s proposal suggests the existence of a habitable zone in Venus’s atmosphere. This idea is not completely new. Scientists have previously speculated about the possibility of habitability of Venus.
Challenging Musk’s ambitions for Mars
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, has set himself the ambitious goal of having a self-sustaining colony on Mars of one million people by 2050. However, Zenlein believes that his vision of a floating colony on Venus is a more realistic and achievable alternative.
Although both Mars and Venus pose significant challenges for human colonization, Sonlein argues that Venus’s proximity to Earth and the presence of a habitable zone in its atmosphere make it more viable. He emphasizes that researchers need to consider many possibilities and not limit themselves to one destination.
Guillermo Sonlein’s ambitious idea for a floating colony on Venus by 2050 demonstrates the human spirit of exploration and pushing the boundaries. Despite the recent tragedy of an OceanGate Expeditions submersible, Sonlein remains steadfast in his belief that calculated risk is essential to scientific advancement.
Although the colonization of Venus presents numerous challenges, including extreme temperatures, high atmospheric pressure, and corrosive conditions, Senlein’s proposal suggests that a zone suitable for human habitation may exist in the planet’s atmosphere. As space exploration continues to capture our imagination, it’s important to consider alternative destinations beyond Mars.
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