Economics of Venus Colonization

Yes there is no clear economic incentive to colonize Venus. On the other hand I don’t think there is any economic incentive to colonize any other planet. The cost of getting resources back to earth is far to high for any planet to be worth it.

Asteroid mining is most promising in that regard, but even for that we have not developed any means to make it economical to deliver the mined material back to earth.

Both Mars and Venus colonization as far as I see it can only ever be about expanding the human reach and not putting all your eggs in one basket (earth).

My interest in Venus colonization is in large part driven from a literary perspective. I think a Sci-Fi story taking place on Venus would be very interesting, because the type of society that would exist there would be very different from Mars. Rather than land locked bases as on Mars you would have all these large air ships floating around. It makes me think of the sailship times, Pirates of the Caribbean. In those stories everything revolves around the sea and ships. Alternatively one could think about in terms of typical space Sci-Fi with space ships all moving around and interacting with each other, except in this case it is airships doing it.

What I think lacks in a lot of space science fiction is the ability to convey how other planets will almost never be like earth. They way you have to live there will be very alien. Having to live in floating airships, that is pretty ailien. The other interesting thing to me is how technology and resources influence a society. A Venus society would be primarily plastic based. There are methods of scoping up rocks from the Venus surface we can imagine, but anything from the surface would be inconvenient. Hence price of things made of metal would be very high on Venus.

But you are right that in the short term it would likely be significantly easier to get a Moon base up and running. With a reusable rocket we can shuttle a aweful lot of material back and forth in the time it takes to get to either Venus or Mars.

For long term living, the Moon is however less suited than Venus or Mars, because there is no access to Carbon. Without Carbon you can’t make plants, plastic or living things. Sure we can ship it there from earth, but it means we are always limited by how much was shipped there.

Both Mars and Venus in contrast do both have access to all elements we need. In the Venus case, getting the stuff off the surface will be trickier. However getting enough carbon, water and oxygen for growing things will be easy, if you can call anything in space easy ;-)

Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.

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