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Why is it unlikely we will send people to Venus soon?
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I'm Robert Massey and I'm here from the Royal Astronomical Society which is one of the biggest astronomical organizations in the world and we look after the interests of astronomers not just in the UK but across the world. What I'm going to do today is give you a few pointers to get you started in astronomy which I think is one of the most incredibly interesting subjects there is. Venus was once thought to be almost like a twin of the Earth. It's not that different in size, just slightly smaller than the Earth although it's somewhat closer to the sun. But unfortunately, it's got a very thick carbon dioxide atmosphere and carbon dioxide is very very good as a greenhouse gas, it's very very good at trapping heat from the sun and that means that Venus is much hotter than it should be even with that bit closer to the sun. It's so hot in fact that if you put a block of lead on the surface, it would melt. And as if that weren't bad enough, the atmosphere, the pressure at the surface is about 90 times the pressure of the atmosphere on Earth and just to cap it all, it actually rains sulphuric acid. So although Venus may have a romantic name, at the end of the day, it's a very romantic place for holiday trips. And again, I think it's very very unlikely that we're going to be sending people to land on Venus anytime soon. For all that, it's an interesting world audit, so similar in size to the Earth but with a very different geological history and for that reason, if you want to understand the solar system, it's just as important to understand Venus as it is the other planets. .