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mazingerz88's avatar

Why doesn't NASA send probes to Venus as much as Mars?

Asked by mazingerz88 (18495 points ) August 7th, 2012

If budget is the concern, why not prioritize Venus? Wouldn’t it be more possible for Venus to have life compared to Mars?

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44 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

No. Venus is an extremely hot planet. Its average temperature is 460 degrees, and atmospheric pressure is 93 times that of earth. Building something that can withstand such conditions is a lot harder than building something for Mars.

Qingu's avatar

Yeah, Venus is a hellhole. It’s more likely that some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn have (or could one day host) life than Venus.

Crashsequence2012's avatar

It would be infinitely more feasible to colonize Mars than Venus

Rarebear's avatar

In addition to the above, it’s hard to get a signal out through the atmosphere.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

On Venus it rains hydrochloric acid.

poisonedantidote's avatar

We have never managed to design anything that can last more than a couple of hours on Venus, it just melts. Be it the heat, the acid, or something else.

Rarebear's avatar

@Mr_Paradox I think it’s sulfuric acid, but your point is made.

woodcutter's avatar

Mars has a man face on it. Does Venus have a woman face there? That would seem appropriate~

Rarebear's avatar

@woodcutter Sadly, Mars’ man face disappeared with higher resolution imaging.

woodcutter's avatar

High resolution really sucks then.

jerv's avatar

Well, Venus’ face got melted off by superheated acid, so it could’ve been worse.

TheIntern55's avatar

Because we already know that there’s a possibility of life on Mars. Why waste our money on an uncertainty, when Mars is a feasible option?

mazingerz88's avatar

Because compared to unattractive Mars, Venus looks hot.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

^^ hahaha I see what you did there.

josie's avatar

Because if there is actually a planet out there that human beings might just successfully travel to, come back from, or even stay on, it would be Mars. It is a “target of opportunity”.

Mariah's avatar

Venus would be interesting to explore, but only for reasons other than the search for the potential for life. Venus is very hot, hotter than Mercury, even though it’s farther from the sun, because its atmosphere is very high in CO2.

ETpro's avatar

It would take the sort of technology needed to redirect a planet’s orbit out into the habitable zone and undo Global Warming on a blast-furnace scale. The EPA would have to put stringent regulations in place to stop the constant acid rain.

In short, it would require spending on infrastructure, climate stabilization and environmental protection—something the GOP would NEVER consider doing.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro Are you even saying there has been thoughts of altering any planet orbit, etc? I don’t think it’s a job for EPA or even any Earthly govt….there isn’t enough collective wealth on this planet to achieve this, even if some egghead figure’s out some way. Politics is so far removed from an idea like this. I mean the GOP can be linked to much stubbornness but any Democrat even thinking about this will keep it under the hat less they be accused of lunacy. Venus’s orbit is good right where it is.

mazingerz88's avatar

It just occurred to me…why no probes to Uranus? But they probably already did. : )

woodcutter's avatar

ha-hm…did you say Greeks?

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter It’s not something we are ready to tackle now, but it is far from impossible. We in fact need to learn to alter planetary orbits if Earth is to survive the flame-out of our Sun. When it runs low on hydrogen fuel in its core, it will shift thermonuclear fusion of hydrogen in a shell surrounding its core. As this occurs, its internal pressure will greatly increase. If it were a more massive star, it would supernova at that point. Since it’s relatively small as stars go, it will simply expand into what is called a red giant. Its corona will engulf the Earth and subject our planet to a temperature of 100 million degrees Kelvin. This would be quite detrimental to life on Earth. If we let it happen, we will be melted into the Sun and, as it consumes its remaining hydrogen, shrink with it to a white dwarf.

ragingloli's avatar

@ETpro
It is just “Kelvin”, not “degrees Kelvin”.

TheIntern55's avatar

@ETpro Thank you for giving me an optimistic view of the future. I will now stop preparing for the zombie apocolypse, and start preparing for the we-will-all-be-engulfed-in-the-sun-eventually apocolypse.

Rarebear's avatar

@TheIntern55 No no NO. Zombies are far cooler than sun novas.

TheIntern55's avatar

@Rarebear But which one would kill me first, the zombies, or giant flames of hydrogen fusion?
Or is it fission? I don’t remember now…...

ragingloli's avatar

It’s fusion. And it will not be due until after another 4 to 5 billion years.
Humans will not survive that long.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro I would think that wasting time on Venus, which is the opposite direction we want to move as the sun expands would yield minimal opportunities to escape it. We get to Mars after we figure out the details and in the meantime buy us a few million years before we need to go some place better. I still have confidence in warp speed travel .

ETpro's avatar

@TheIntern55 Always glad to cheer another old salt up. :-)

But I am hard pressed to answer whether it’s better to worry about non-existent zombies of the Red Giant phase of the sun, which is very real but won’t happen for billions of years.

@ragingloli I write degrees Kelvin because too many readers wouldn’t know it was a temperature measurement without the word “degrees” being included. And as to humans surviving 8 billion years, my DNA plans to. Speak for yourself on that. :-)

@woodcutter If we don’t know how to terraform and move planetary orbits, we will be doomed when the sun begins to run out of fuel. In its red Giant phase, all the inner planets will be so hot no living organism could survive. After it burns up its hydrogen and becomes a white dwarf, we’d need to be in an orbit like that of Mercury to survive. Most of the solar system will be at very near absolute zero.

Star Trek and other science fiction may have inspired your confidence in warp drive, but the fact is that the technology and energy levels required to generate the sort of gravitational well necessary to warp many light years of space time into a short distance far exceed the technology and energy levels needed to move a planet a few astronomical units over a period of billions of years.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Care to give this a go?

I could easily play with this all day.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Mama_Cakes That’s pretty cool! I could imagine the robot thinking, What the f*#%k now?

TheIntern55's avatar

@Mama_Cakes I feel the coolest part is looking at the sun and seeing it how Mars sees it. Which isn’t much differenrt from us, but still.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Mama_Cakes What am I missing? It doesn’t go any where except look around in a circle….

TheIntern55's avatar

@Dutchess_III IT’S FREAKIN’ MARS, BE AMAZED!!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I AM NOT A GUY! I CAN NOT WATCH THE SAME THING ALL DAY JUST BECAUSE I’M WATCHING IT ELECTRONICALLY!!! Sides. I can go to Oklahoma next door to see that. Humph. (I’m kidding! I’m awed that it’s Mars too. It’s so cool. I have a couple of the Curiosity NASA landing videos at work to show my students. Amazing.)

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I’m a girl and I think that it’s fascinating. :)

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Bahaha, Okay, okay. Five minutes. :)

Neodarwinian's avatar

Google ’ Verna ’ and see what problems the old Soviet Union had with landings on Venus.

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