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Beyond Earthly Skies

Cooling a Venus Rover

26 May 2013, 00:46 UTC
Cooling a Venus Rover
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

An ocean flowed on Venus eons pastBefore a body blow reversed her spinAnd now alas, unlike her earthly twinHer waters to the heavens have been cast.Tectonic plates, unoiled, locking fastAnd no sure passage frees the heat withinThe skin and core are thermally akinNo dynamo protects from cosmic blast.And lighter gas is swept away by raysTen miles deep, from pole to pole she's wrappedIn densest greenhouse gas, her body steeps.Each blistered night, a hundred plus earth daysIn Vulcan's ashy forge forever trappedAnd with sulphuric acid tears she weeps.- Diane Hine, Sister Planet (10 March 2012)Figure 1: Artist’s impression of the Venusian surface with lightning in the background. Credit: Greg S. Prichard.With a surface temperature of 450 °C and a surface atmospheric pressure of 92 bars (equivalent to the pressure a kilometre under the Earth’s ocean), the surface of Venus is a hostile environment. Although sending a rover to explore the surface of Venus is expected to yield results of great scientific value, the high surface temperature on Venus will wreak havoc on any electronic components. The longest-lasting lander on the surface of Venus was the Russian Venera 13 lander which touched down on 1 March 1982 and survived for 127 minutes. ...

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