Have you ever dreamed of becoming an astronaut? Well now’s your chance. You’ve been selected as one of the first members of a new human settlement. But you’d better prepare, because it’s on one of the most hostile planets in our Solar System.

Mars usually gets all the attention, but Venus is an underrated option for human settlement. Sure, there is no water, the winds are as strong as hurricanes, and the extreme pressure destroys anything that enters its atmosphere. But it’s a lot closer to Earth.

The trip to Venus would be 30% to 50% quicker than a trip to Mars, so you’d spend less time in a cramped space shuttle. Although your living situation on Venus might not be much better. Where would you get your energy from? Why would you need expendable robots?

There are many reasons we would attempt a settlement on Venus. Climate change, population, lack of resources, all of these could force us to look somewhere else for a new home. Or maybe it’s for a scientific purpose, and you’re there to study the rocky terrain of Venus. But with such a dangerous atmosphere, how could you stay alive?

Step 1: Build Super Dwellings

Your new home would be on one of Venus’ two land masses, Ishtar Terra or Aphrodite. Venus’ atmosphere is made up of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid, which is extremely corrosive.

Anything built on Venus would need to be made of a material that can withstand this toxic atmosphere. It would also need to be an accomplishment of engineering genius. The atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of Earth’s.

It’s so thick that meteors get crushed before they reach the surface. The settlement would have to be engineered to withstand that incredible pressure. I hope that there are some breakthroughs in material technology before your mission. Because, at the moment, we don’t have anything strong enough to withstand such extreme pressure.

Step 2: Leverage Solar Power

It only takes six minutes for light from the Sun to reach Venus. This makes it the brightest planet in our Solar System. The days are longer too, with 2,784 more hours than an Earth day. So there’s a lot of energy that could be harvested from all that light.

And you’ll need all the power you can get. Maintaining dwellings that are pressurized, heat controlled, and have a breathable atmosphere would take an enormous amount of energy.

Step 3: Create a Cloud Base

While you would be land-bound for the duration of your stay on Venus, there would need to be a base hovering in the cloudy sky above you. This upper atmosphere of Venus is much more hospitable. The atmospheric pressure is similar to Earth’s, and the temperature is 75°C (167°F). Still hot, but much easier to work with than the temperature on the ground. This base would be the landing pad for ships carrying both supplies and crew. It would be integral to keep you and your crew members safe on the surface.

Step 4: Teleport

You’re going to have to live in a technologically advanced future to survive on Venus. While your settlements would be built to withstand the heat and pressure of the planet, spaceships would be another issue altogether. You’d arrive at the Cloud Base first, and then you’d teleport down to the dwelling below. You’d also use the teleporter to receive food and supplies.

Step 5: Use Robots

If the crushing atmosphere isn’t enough to deter you from venturing outside, the extreme heat should. Venus is a constant 462°C (864°F). You’ll need specialized robots to work on any repairs outside. And you’d need a lot of them. So far, reinforced probes have only lasted for two hours on the surface of Venus. You could use as many robots as you wanted, it’s just that they wouldn’t last long.

Step 6: Create Earthly Routines

Venus’ axial tilt is only three degrees, so it doesn’t have seasons. It also has those long days we mentioned before. Your internal clock would be completely thrown off by this, and it could cause mental distress.

To combat this, you should create a routine and stick to it. This will help your body know when it’s time to eat, work, and rest. You could also simulate an Earth day by programming your dwelling to let more or less light in.

Step 7: Exercise

The gravity on Venus is only 91% of Earth’s gravity. So you’d need to protect yourself from osteoporosis, which is when your bones lose mass and strength. Cardiovascular exercises, stretches, and squats would help you keep your bones strong. You’ll need some intensive training before you depart to Venus. Your survival will depend on your training, knowledge, and ability to get along with other people. In a place like Venus, where there are many things we don’t know, it’s what you don’t know that could be most dangerous.

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