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Injecting life into the Venusian atmosphere




As it never rains on Venus and atmospheric turbulence is intense, it is reasonable to assume that airborne dust particles could remain airborne indefinitely. There are organisms on earth that can survive and even thrive in the chemical and temperature conditions of Venus's upper atmosphere. Admittedly, they would have to be genetically modified and/or undergo selective breeding to do the same while remaining airborne, but this should not be such a problem as their basic design is that of a dust particle that has developed special mechanisms for clinging onto a surface. On earth this is essential as the rain makes sustained airborne life impossible. But on Venus the reverse is true and getting an organism to lose a trick is mostly not such a problem.

Any space probe going through the atmosphere of Venus would merely have to open a little canister with the organisms into the atmosphere. The total amount of organism released would not have to exceed one gram. Because of this low weight, a program to bring life to Venus could piggyback on an other program to Venus and could thus be very cheap indeed.

The idea that I am presenting here is one that have had since I was a student. I did a little feasibility study while I was studying and talked to some professors of the appropriate scientific disciplines. It proved to be a very interesting idea though lack of time and recourses prevented any future research to take place. Personally I am convinced that a determined program could successfully develop such an organism for a relatively low cost.

drs. Geert Poelman