Mars is probably the next step mostly due to the fact that the red planet is very similar to Earth with polar caps similar to Earth, evidence of water has been located and there even might be life on Mars- even though it isn’t necessarily evolved.
NASA plans to develop a ‘city-cloud’ that would be placed floating in the atmosphere of Venus, which human populations can permanently inhabit. While Venus has properties similar to those of Earth features, it is true that its hellish weather conditions are unsuitable for life, at least as we know it. The planet is surrounded by a dense atmosphere sulfuric acid clouds, extremely toxic, and supports a surface pressure 90 times that of Earth. However, it is the hottest planet in the Solar System even though it isnt the closest one to the sun; thats Mercury.
The Langley Research Center NASA seems to have a good idea for solving the Venusian uninhabitable issue by proposing the placement of a floating city that would be operated by humans for humans and they plan to place it in the planetary atmosphere, something that seems logical and possible given our technological capabilities.
The High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) as this project is called, would kick off by sending a robot into the atmosphere to test its components closely, this would be followed up by a thirty-day crewed orbital mission. If all goes well, the HAVOC could become a floating city that houses the permanent residence of humans on Venus. Basically NASA would place the astronauts in a “aeroshell” that would enter the atmosphere at 4,500 miles per hour.
The mission contemplates using helium aircraft, powered by solar energy, which float 50 kilometers above the surface of Venus, where the temperature are still moderate and tolerable; that is around 75 degrees celsius. The surface temperature of Venus is around 465 degrees celsius to which you can add a dense cloud of sulfuric acid making it a no-go zone or humans. As for the radiation exposure, which is one of the main problems when going to space, researchers state that it would not be an issue for future astronauts on venus as the amount of radiation present would be almost identical to Earth.
For all of those who are interested in more information about this incredible project, here is a video that sums up everything you need to know about the HAVOC mission.
Image Credit: www.spaceanswers.com Source: NASA