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This is perhaps the main challenge - I will look at that under disadvantages. We need some way to get the water out of the concentrated sulfuric acid, by biological or chemical methods, or through use of solar energy.
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Do that and you have all the ingredients to grow plants and trees apart from some trace elements. Ability to grow construction materials from the atmosphere for new habitats. Once you have water and trace elements you can grow trees.
As the colonies expand, much of the construction material would be wood and fabrics grown almost entirely from materials in the atmosphere of Venus. Wood and plastic are easily strong enough to construct the lightweight habitats needed for Venus via Buckminster Fuller domes, tensegrity structures, and so forth. The missing ingredients such as trace elements for plants, soil for them to grow in or machinery for hydroponics , etc can come from Earth initially, later by space mining. Easy to send materials to the Venus cloud tops similar to Earth re-entry, just aeroshells.
No need for retro rockets. Also there is no hard surface to impact on, so no risk of collision with the surface. Finally you would also inflate balloons with lifting gas as it slows down, so that your supplies level out at the right level to be easy to retrieve from the habitats.
One way or the other, it would be far easier to export materials to the cloud colonies than to the Moon or Mars. If time is of no concern, if you take the long view, then using gravity assists on the Interplanetary Super Highway you can send material to Venus from anywhere in the solar system. So would be easy to send ice for water for the habitats - you would send it to the colonies in aeroshells and with parachutes and so would have no need to worry about it getting ablated into the atmosphere. Materials are also available from the surface of Venus.
As the colonies become more independent, you can trawl the surface, much like trawling an ocean bed. You don't need to send complex sensitive machines down there. Instead you could fly down as far as is safe in airships - remote controlled probably from the habs for safety. Then these airships would deploy nets or grabs to the surface and collect boulders, or sand to bring up to the habitats.
Later on you could have mining operations directly on the surface.
To start with you could get ballast and useful materials from the surface by trawling in this way much as for an ocean bed on Earth. Many people assume that it must be harder to get to Venus than Mars - but actually - you can go there more often than for Mars. It also has a shorter transit time, five months, and there is less delta v needed for the Hohmann transfer also, so it requires less fuel, compared with Mars. You can travel to Venus on a minimum energy path every 1. Later on you could have a series of five cyclers to ferry passengers and freight between Earth and Venus.
Then when you get to Venus it is easy for your humans to get down to the cloud colonies. You need no extra fuel, only parachutes and deployable balloons, similarly to the supply of materials. So, it is really easy to get to the Venus cloud colonies for a one way trip, as easy as almost anywhere in the solar system though Moon is best for our very first colonies because it is so close to Earth in an emergency or for tourists and resupply and for short term visits.
It is not so easy to get back to Earth from Venus. We will look into that under disadvantages. Has a day of 4 Earth days in the upper atmosphere. That's because of super-rotation of the atmosphere which carries the entire atmosphere around Venus every 4 days. This is short enough to be reasonable for Earth life, if not quite the optimum of 24 hours. Same gravity as Earth more or less.
Is the only place in the inner solar system with close to Earth normal gravity already. It seems unlikely that Venus colonists would have any problems at all including normal births and upbringing of children, and Venusian colonists would be able to travel to Earth without problems to study or for recreation or whatever. This may not be such an enormous advantage - depending on future research. Humans may be able to withstand a fair amount of Coriolis force with no ill effects in rotating habs, making smaller rotating habs for artificial g possible.
It might be that we only need a few hours of Earth normal g a day e. This is all unknown territory at present, despite all our visits to the ISS and many trips to space, there has been almost no research into effects of low g on humans or practicality of rotating tethers or spaceships for generating gravity in space the long term experiments here simply can't be done on Earth.
But does simplify construction at least if you don't need to have internal spinning habs for artificial g. Protection from meteorites. Venus cloud colonies would have no micro-meteorites, a continual minor hazard for space habs. On Venus, as for Earth, these all burn up in the atmosphere long before they reach the colonies. The atmosphere also gives protection from larger meteorites too.
The Earth i s hit by meteorites with energy about 3 kilotons every 1. The same would be true of Venus but not Mars. If the habitat is seriously compromised, it will not explosively decompress like a space habitat.
Also, you won't get all the air rushing out of the habitat through even quite a small hole. Instead, as the pressure is the same inside the hab and outside, all that would happen after even quite a large hole is that the outside atmosphere of Venus would slowly diffuse into the habitat.go here
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This would give plenty of time to repair any damage. Indeed for small holes, you might wait until you have a reasonable number of them before doing anything, schedule running repairs of smaller holes throughout the habitat. The outer envelopes could be quilt type construction, and internally compartmentalized to reduce effects of even major breach, e.
Protection from cosmic radiation and solar radiation - the radiation protection level is RP like Earth.
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Something close to RP is probably essential if you stay in a colony long term. The levels of radiation you experience in a space walk on the Moon or in the ISS, etc can have serious health implications if you do them frequently, so in those places you would probably need to live in a habitat shielded by meters of regolith, and do most of the work via telerobotics anyway.
For interesting background on all this I recommend this spaceshow discussion: Classroom with Drs. John Jurist and Jim Logan, on radiation issues. Venus is one of the few places in the solar system outside of Earth that humans could live long term without any reason for concern about cosmic radiation or need to take special precautions or to limit the amount of EVA.
Another such place would be in the oceans of one of the Moons with sub-surface oceans which though has obvious planetary protection issues. In space habitats, shielded by tons of material, then you would be fine inside the habitat, so a large habitat such as a Stanford Torus would be fine. But you would still have to limit the amount of EVA outside of the habitat, to avoid exceeding whatever is determined to be your safe lifetime dose of exposure to the radiation.
First, you could do a Venus One project like Mars One. Live your life out there and rely on resupply from Earth. The Venus cloud colonies do have advantage of no need to build a launch pad. Instead, you can suspend your rocket before take off using a suitably large, probably toroidal hydrogen balloon. This might mean re-engineering the rocket, and needs engineering studies. Hydrogen is a slightly stronger lifting gas for Venus with denser CO 2 atmosphere - and of course no concerns at all of combustion.
Hydrogen has a density of 0. So a hydrogen balloon on Venus has lifting power of 1.