Terraforming Venus: A Modest Proposal


As a person who has never left the United States for more than six hours at a time, the idea of standing on another planet is exhilarating. But to go there without a space suit, with the soil between your toes, is the truest bliss. I, for one, am more than willing to dedicate the entire economy of the nation to the fulfillment of this dream.

Mars and Venus are the most obvious candidates for terraforming. They're both relatively nearby, and nearly the size of Earth. But that's about all the two planets have in common. Here's a quick look at the differences:

Venus

Mars

Temperature
Hot enough to melt lead
On a warm day, you may get above freezing
Day
???
A bit over 24 hours
Water
None
Some in the polar ice caps
Atmosphere
Moons
None
Deimos and Phobos
Gravity
???
???
Moons
None
Deimos and Phobos
Magnetic Field
???
???

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