Exploring Venus By Airship: Cool Concept, But Certainly Not New
An airship from the far-out High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) mission concept deploys above the planet in this artist’s conception. Credit: NASA Langley Research Center/YouTube (screenshot)
Venus presents a special challenge to space explorers. Yes, there is a surface but also, it has a tendency to crush spacecraft fairly quickly. Short of building a submarine-rated surface explorer, maybe there’s a better way to look at the hothouse planet? A newly released NASA concept making the rounds suggests using airships. Yes, airships with people in them.
But as you will see below, balloons and airships have been discussed extensively in the past decade by NASA and the Europeans as the best way of exploring Venus without needing to touch its hellish surface.
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