Venusian Aerostats

venus floating city cloud aerostat atmosphere futuristic scifi hanging skyscrapper balloon solar panels industrial


"Consider it a bulwark against the mortal sins of our own weak human nature."
- Cell Captain Kristo of the Andělé Smrti ("Angels of Death"), The Fall of the Cities, 2319

In the early years of expansion into the solar system, Venus represented a conundrum.
On the one hand, Venus is both near to Earth with excellent transit options - far better than to Mars - abundant opportunities for solar power, and moreso than any other body in the solar system, comparable gravity to Earth. On the other hand, the terrestrial environment represents the nightmare of an uncontrolled greenhouse effect with temperatures on the surface so extreme as to be able to melt lead.

The solution was aerostat cities, giant floating cities aloft 20 to 40 km above the surface of the planet where both pressure and temperature is Earth-normal, and the clouds are still thick enough to protect against deadly cosmic radiation despite Venus’ lack of a protective magnetosphere.

Built out of carbon and glass, pumping the interiors full of breathable nitrogen and oxygen filtered from Venus’ own atmosphere, the builders created enough lift to buoy their homes high in Venus' clouds, even using the high atmosphere’s sulfuric acid clouds to make water and oxygen to fuel breathable atmosphere and enormous algae farms for sustenance.
Each city is guided by four engines which help them navigate the atmosphere of the planet and also hold them in position when needed.
Cities are usually solitary, slowly moving across the planet, yet every now and then their path gets them closer to other cities, so they take the opportunity to link with those new neighbors for a few days or weeks for easier trade and maybe hold a party or two.

Plastics, carbon nanotubes and graphene made from the CO2 of Venus' cloud layer itself are the major products of Venus' native industry, all of which can simply be scooped up and processed, powered by abundant solar energy, in turn making Venus a powerhouse for the construction of the dominant material for ship and station hulls throughout the solar system.


Background story courtesy of Geoff Tuffli from Jubal project. Cheers.

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