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Author Topic: NASA plans airship expedition to Venus  (Read 1325 times)
Atterton
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« on: December 17, 2014, 11:06:15 pm »

Well, perhaps not quite. However they are looking into how it could be done. Apparently floating at a height will help avoid the rather hellish conditions usually associated with Venus. An airship cruising at a height of 50 km would still give a good chance to see the venusian steppes and perhaps observe the migration of the skywhales while sipping your tea in the lounge deck.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/space-flight/nasa-study-proposes-airships-cloud-cities-for-venus-exploration

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Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 01:19:08 am »

I can't help but feel that there's more than a touch of optimism about those images. Strong winds are, along with floatin fauna and flora, the natural enemy of airships, let alone the crazy turbulence caused by them acid clouds!

Floating above the scary acid clouds seems a nice idea though, but with Venus's cloudbank ranging from 50km up to 80km it might be worth inverting those images!

But enough of my negative nancying.

It would be cool to see it progress though and any space exploration is great in my book! Hope it goes ahead.
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Alexis Voltaire
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2014, 01:46:45 am »

It's a really cool idea, but they'd better make very, very sure they get everything right for that descent sequence.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2014, 04:37:11 am »

Kudos for having the craziest idea since my VTOL jetliner in my BSc degree's final aircraft design class.  Sounds like one of my craziest fantasies.  The scary part is that these people (like me) are very serious about their madness.

The last time I heard something similar one of our PhD alumni at the University of Texas came back to give a talk one year after graduating.  I was in the audience during his presentation at the Dept. of Aerospace Engr.  He had joined an aerospace firm that planned to build a single stage to orbit vehicle with powered re-entry capability by way of a helicopter like rotor.

After his presentation I asked him:  "But at what altitude do you plan to deploy the rotor?  I don't know anything about rotors operating in hypersonic flows."  Hypersonic flight was my concentration during my Masters degree.  "Surely you don't want to deploy until you have slowed down with parachutes to subsonic speeds," I asked.  To which he replied, "I don't know either, but I think they're trying to deploy it during at least the supersonic flight regime."  "Holy Jehozafat!, I thought to myself.

At least here, they are specifically telling you when they plan to inflate/unfold the airship.


Quote
The airship would enter the Venusian atmosphere inside an aeroshell at 7,200 meters per second. Over the next seven minutes, the aeroshell would decelerate to 450 m/s, and it would deploy a parachute to slow itself down further. At this point, things get crazy. The aeroshell would drop away, and the airship would begin to unfurl and inflate itself, while still dropping through the atmosphere at 100 m/s. As the airship got larger, its lift and drag would both increase to the point where the parachute became redundant. The parachute would be jettisoned, the airship would fully inflate, and (if everything had gone as it’s supposed to), it would gently float to a stop at 50 km above Venus’s surface.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 04:53:44 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Atterton
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2015, 10:46:43 pm »

Due to being mentioned in another thread, I felt this would be worth a bump.
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2015, 09:14:26 pm »

It is a really neat idea. I read somewhere that there is a tiny, tiny chance there could be life floating around in Venus' upper atmosphere, so I hope NASA is designing in protection against air kraken  Wink

Yours,
Miranda.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 06:49:57 am »

Zeppelin with rockets? Hell yeah!  Cool  Grin
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heavyporker
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2015, 02:22:32 am »

Well, that's just a very terribly interesting prospect.

"If one cannot land, one may float!" is a wonderful quote for any aspiring tinker to adopt.
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I hope you all enjoyed Air Kraken Day
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