[Lore] No terraformation of Venus?

For anyone into terraformation and solar colonization, Venus is where it’s at. Mars? Psh- that’s normie bait, living it up in cloud cities while we terraform the surface into habitability. FAR easier than colonizing, much less terraforming, Mars, which is the much better known terraforming candidate in popular science fiction. This includes the Elite universe unfortunately.

Now Mars getting terraformed before the much better candidate of Venus isn’t that implausable, public interest and all that, but for a universe like Elite with relatively low cost terraforming capabilities failing to do so after a millennium strains belief.

so I suggest one of three changes.

1: retcon Venus into a fully terraformed earthlike, same as mars.

2: retcon Venus into the subject of an ongoing, but unfinished, terraforming effort. Maybe with cloud cities.

3: make it an event where we as the community can bring winter to Venus. No retconning required, although this can overlap with option 2.

personally I’d be content with any of these options, but I’m interested in what the community thinks. Similar reasoning can also be applied to Saturn’s moon Titan, althoughSaturns magnetic field makes that somewhat more complicated, since Titan passing through van Allen belts isn’t gonna be pretty for any colonists. Not sure if that applies to Titan though, so getting it warmed up is the main factor to consider.
 
Is that the planet Meghan Markle came from ;)

Being serious for a moment, Venus is extremely inhospitable. I don't think terraforming it would be as OP claims.
that’s true for the surface, but only because of the exceptionally thick atmosphere. Up at earth atmospheric pressures the temperatures are much more livable, hence cloud cities. Over time siphoning CO2 and sulphates out of the air will make the surface accessible, first by remote mining operations but eventually general habitation, with those cloud cities I mentioned touching down. The biggest issue is actually the orbital period, which is borderline tidally locked. It’s still fixable, but it’s certainly the hardest part. That said, terraforming Mars would demand a similar amount of effort to reestablish/emulat the effects of an active magnetosphere, so it isn’t entirely out of the question.
 
that’s true for the surface, but only because of the exceptionally thick atmosphere. Up at earth atmospheric pressures the temperatures are much more livable, hence cloud cities. Over time siphoning CO2 and sulphates out of the air will make the surface accessible, first by remote mining operations but eventually general habitation, with those cloud cities I mentioned touching down. The biggest issue is actually the orbital period, which is borderline tidally locked. It’s still fixable, but it’s certainly the hardest part. That said, terraforming Mars would demand a similar amount of effort to reestablish/emulat the effects of an active magnetosphere, so it isn’t entirely out of the question.
I'm impressed that you've done the research. Well done.
 
Venus likely isn't all that easy to terraform. Without a magnetic field to protect it, essentially all of its hydrogen (necessary for water) has been stripped away by ultraviolet radiation and the solar wind. That's why CO2 and SO2 are the dominant oxides in its atmosphere now. Compare to Mars - which also lacks a magnetic field, and has probably lost 90+% of the water it originally held, but might still be salvaged by large reserves of water safely locked away as subsurface ice. All of Venus' geological water was long since baked out into the atmosphere.

That said, I'm all for cloud cities on Venus. Every time it comes up, I say, that's the easy way to introduce atmospheric planets, without the hassle of working out atmospheric surfaces all at once.
 
Venus likely isn't all that easy to terraform. Without a magnetic field to protect it, essentially all of its hydrogen (necessary for water) has been stripped away by ultraviolet radiation and the solar wind. That's why CO2 and SO2 are the dominant oxides in its atmosphere now. Compare to Mars - which also lacks a magnetic field, and has probably lost 90+% of the water it originally held, but might still be salvaged by large reserves of water safely locked away as subsurface ice. All of Venus' geological water was long since baked out into the atmosphere.

That said, I'm all for cloud cities on Venus. Every time it comes up, I say, that's the easy way to introduce atmospheric planets, without the hassle of working out atmospheric surfaces all at once.
oh water isn’t coming into this. That is all being imported, 100%. Either in the form of ice or as pure hydrogen via solar scooping. The magnetic field is a good point. I actually forgot that Venus has the same issues as Mars there, since Venus isn’t geologically inert IIRC. That said, this is Elite. If they did it on Mars, they can do it on Venus.

As for cloud cities, I think they only make sense in some cases. Gas giants and Venus-like greenhouse worlds are good candidates, but less absurdly thick atmospheres demand surface accessibility. My eardrums might not enjoyTitans 1.45 atmospheres, but compared to the 91 of Venus I’ll take the surface life.
 
Challenge accepted!

although keep in mind that this is all relative to Mars. In absolute terms any terraforming project is gonna be tough as tungsten.
In hard sci-fi terms, there are a variety of realistic scenarios where terraforming would be fairly easy, given suitable self-replicating bio- or nano-technology. Provided a body is in the right general range for surface gravity and solar radiation, there's a lot you can do with chemistry and catalysts, using ambient sunlight for energy. Oxygen can be produced by either photosynthesizing atmospheric oxygen species like CO2, or reducing oxide minerals in the crust. Temperature can be adjusted be adding or removing atmospheric CO2. Atmospheric pressure can likewise be adjusted up or down by binding or releasing volatile species like nitrogen. You want self-replicating organisms or machines because while the chemistry is straightforward, you need to react gigantic surface areas to have a sufficient effect. However, it would require importing an implausible amount of hydrogen to produce enough water on a body that has already lost it all, so that's probably your biggest constraint.

Also note that in a case like Mars, if the remaining water ice is sufficient for terraforming, the lack of a magnetic field isn't a deal-breaker. There have been studies showing that an artificial field of adequate strength to protect the newly enhanced atmosphere could be created with near-future technology, so it should be trivial with E: D level tech.
 
Ye canna change the laws of physics, captain. And the laws of physics, as simplified in ED, say "no" to the terraforming of planets that are simply too close to their star (or too far away, like Titan).

Consensus is that Venus is simply too dang hot; you can't put an ocean and an Earth-like atmosphere there and avoid a runaway greenhouse. According to ED's Goldilocks Zone calculator, Earth is right on the inner edge of Sol's Goldilocks Zone. EDSM's Goldilocks Zone Estimator for Sol is "501 to 750 Ls". Earth is at 504 Ls. Mars is at 744, so is just inside it at the opposite extreme. Venus, at 359 Ls, is way, way too far outside the Zone boundary.

They could move the Zones to allow for terraforming of hotter planets... but altering the Stellar Forge algorithms to do that would suddenly create millions of ELWs and terraformables in the already-explored galaxy. They could also hand-carve Sol system to give Venus ELW status, despite it being outside the Goldilocks Zone, but that would raise the question "if Venus is terraformable, then how come all these other planets aren't?".
 
Ye canna change the laws of physics, captain. And the laws of physics, as simplified in ED, say "no" to the terraforming of planets that are simply too close to their star (or too far away, like Titan).

Consensus is that Venus is simply too dang hot; you can't put an ocean and an Earth-like atmosphere there and avoid a runaway greenhouse. According to ED's Goldilocks Zone calculator, Earth is right on the inner edge of Sol's Goldilocks Zone. EDSM's Goldilocks Zone Estimator for Sol is "501 to 750 Ls". Earth is at 504 Ls. Mars is at 744, so is just inside it at the opposite extreme. Venus, at 359 Ls, is way, way too far outside the Zone boundary.

They could move the Zones to allow for terraforming of hotter planets... but altering the Stellar Forge algorithms to do that would suddenly create millions of ELWs and terraformables in the already-explored galaxy. They could also hand-carve Sol system to give Venus ELW status, despite it being outside the Goldilocks Zone, but that would raise the question "if Venus is terraformable, then how come all these other planets aren't?".
Actually, Venus is within the habitable zone. It's on the near side, but it is definitely in there. Assuming your numbers are all correct the EDSM Goldilocks zone of Sol should, realistically, be 355 to 750. The important thing to understand is that Venus isn't hot because it's close to the sun. It's hot because it has 91 atmospheres of CO2 and sulphates turning the surface into a veritable furnace.
 
Is it just me, or is the concept of terraforming in Elite kinda off anyway considering all the unused ELWs that can be reached faster than it takes me to commute.
True, but the issue with existing ELWs is that there are probably things living on them. Some of the large and pointy teeth variety may be an issue, but worse will be the bacteria and viruses that we will have no immunity to. Terraforming at least guarantees a clean start with no dangerous indigenous life without pesky environmentalist protesters moaning when you sterilise an inhabited planet.
 
One can argue about where the Goldilocks Zone of Sol is - indeed, many scientists have done just that. Wikipedia has an excellent summary of the various scientific estimates of the Zone; they have ranges that vary from 192 to 5000 Ls. Mind you, this is generally discussing the Zone with regards to any kind of water-based life, not permanent Human-breathable ELW environment, so the limits more proscribe Water Worlds rather than ELWs. Still, the consensus on most of these studies is that Venus is outside the habitable zone and therefore not terraformable; only that one study in 2013 puts the Zone as far in as 192 Ls. The ED universe was written in the early 1990s and uses Zone calculations from around that period, which are universally in the 450 to 1500 range - which is the range we currently find for water worlds. For Earth-likes, it's 500 to 750.

In short, while you can probably put a water ocean on Venus, the atmosphere needed to keep the ocean liquid and stop it all evaporating would probably not be human-breathable.
 
Solar irradiance is probably the least of all significant terraforming concerns, as this could be mitigated via solar shades or the like.

Reintroduction of hydrogen seems to be the largest barrier.
 
Well Venus likely is not in Goldilocks zone of nowadays Sun. Same thing with Earth in about billion years in future. Venus gets about two times solar radiation compared to Earth. So lasting terraforming of Venus would necessarily involve either moving it out orbitally, or have some huge thing shadowing Sun to reduce solar radiation. Probably you need solar shade anyways to cool planet down fast enough and allow atmosphere to condense to dry ice, to make dealing with it easier.

There also is kind of philosophical and practical question. Is it very wise to make semiterraformed world that needs active high tech measures to remain in that condition? If some kind of major civilisational mishap happens those worlds could quite fastly become deadly traps for their inhabitants.
 
True, but the issue with existing ELWs is that there are probably things living on them. Some of the large and pointy teeth variety may be an issue, but worse will be the bacteria and viruses that we will have no immunity to. Terraforming at least guarantees a clean start with no dangerous indigenous life without pesky environmentalist protesters moaning when you sterilise an inhabited planet.
This is a viable explanation, but in conflict with the fact that countless ELWs have already been colonized in the bubble without apparent terraforming.

(and given the nature of life in the Galaxy, I bet it's just atmospheric bark mounds down the gravity well...)
 
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