From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]
Venus: An Interplanetary Garbage Dump?
by Darnell Clayton / April 26, 2007
For thousands of years, Venus has captured the attention of humanity
across our slightly larger world. Whether it was through spiritual
religion, science fiction stories or modern observation, Venus has had
its fair share in the celestial spotlight, only to be out shined in
modern times by Mars, the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn.
But Venus may again regain its spot light in our solar system,
although not as a potential colony world full of happy residents. With
surface temperatures approaching 482 degrees Celsius (or 900 degrees
Fahrenheit), an atmospheric pressure 92 times greater than that of
Earths and sulfuric acid covering this boiling world, Venus could
easily serve as an interplanetary garbage dump for the inner solar
Although humanity could ultimately attempt to recycle everything in
space (and should at least try), it may be worth casting some items
such as nuclear waste, biological virus (via mad scientists), chemical
weapons and other deadly unmentionables into the sulfuric abyss for
the safety of humanity. These products may not be worth risking human
life over to salvage, and Venus would provide the perfect spot to cast
them away from our presence.
Asteroid colonies may also benefit from a planetary dumping ground.
Unlike their larger terrestrial friends like Earth, the Moon and Mars,
future asteroid colonies would be limited in the amount of space they
could conserve for general garbage.
With humans producing several pounds of trash per day (in some cases),
colonists will need a better alternative to removing their trash aside
from burying it (which can be expensive), burning it (which may not be
recommended) or simply banishing it into space.
Providing an interplanetary dumping ground on Venus for these colonies
may be an alternative solution, as it would help keep our cosmos clean
of space junk, as well as keep the cost of mining these space rocks
Venus could also serve as a location where scientists could conduct
fairly dangerous experiments without the results affecting a future
home world for humanity. Scientists could orbit the sulfuric world in
orbital space stations, and if their experiments turned up unpleasant
results, they could simply cast the dangerous contents onto Venian
soil to face the wrath of the planet.
Venus, unlike most of the other terrestrial worlds that orbit Sol,
will probably never become an attractive home for humanity. With the
conditions on the surface unsuitable for carbon and mechanical life,
it is unlikely that scientist would find any lifeforms living on the
surface, or at least life as we know it.
Despite the hostile environment, Venus may be able to serve humanity
by hosting some of our most hostile (and least enjoyable) creations.
By storing our garbage and other dangerous substances on the planet,
we may be able to free up space on Earth (and in the future Mars, the
Moon and Mercury) for future generations.