Venus, venimous beauty

Known since the venera and viking probes had revealed its content, this blue star, long-standing in the human celestial vault, did not attract the imagination of the crowds so much, because it seemed to belong, with its atmosphere very thick and brilliant, to the starry world, the first bright spot of the night, opening the stellar ball, and the last to leave. The idea of ​​inhabiting Venus would have seemed absurd even to the most daring science-fiction writers, yet it also became a world colonized by man. But it was an even more Homeric achievement than the installation on Mars, and by far the most arduous. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Venus was considered a great rocky planet, as vast as the earth, of near appearance, since it had a beautiful blue atmosphere streaked with vast frayed clouds, of a brilliant white, in fact, venomous ; Because under her pleasant attire, Venus the charmer was an infernal place.

Under the torrid lead of carbonic gas streaked with incessant lightning, the light passes hard. The average temperature is about 480 °, fierce winds carry the smell of sulfuric acids, like the rains, through a desert made of extinct and active volcanoes, torrents of lava, cracked ground tremors, changing morphology in the wake of cataclysms. These enormous clouds, of which only one, rendered in liquid form, would have filled the Pacific Ocean, darken the surface while imprisoning the heat. Venus is an oven, a cauldron. Near the sun, far more than the earth, it already seems too hot to shelter life. A day lasts two hundred and forty three earthly days, more than a Venusian year (225j), making her a restless world. To think that one day living on such a star would have been madness.

But while Mars was becoming a human territory, controversial scientific studies, based on the work of an American researcher who spent his life studying Venus, showed that it was theoretically possible to treat the Venusian atmosphere in the long term in order to change its composition, because it had many features in common with that of the primitive earth, the greater proximity of the sun having led to perpetuate and even aggravate the conditions of the local atmospheric chemistry , leading to a radically different world. But these works did not specify how. Because while a company aimed to get exactly the opposite on Mars, that is to say to cause a greenhouse effect to generate the creation of oceans oxygen regulators, by warming the atmosphere using processors.

No solution existed in industrial engineering that could adapt to the extreme conditions of Venus. The heat, the corrosion, the instability of the ground, contributed to make it an impossible undertaking. Nevertheless, a first virtual test was undertaken during a highly criticized simulation, in 2077. The solution came from the contribution of quite special orbital structures commissioned around the gaseous giants of the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Orbital extraction and gas treatment complexes, better known as "orbital gas mines", had a decisive argument to make. Since the gaseous giants lacked an easily accessible solid surface, the only way to "colonize" them would be to remain in suspension in their first gaseous layers, being in a critical suborbital position, that is to say in a first step to the limit of suspension and attraction, and then, thanks to rocket engines continuously fed by propellant mixtures produced on site, by unrolling a huge extraction pipe, or several, in clusters, deeper and deeper in the layers of gas, to maintain the station more and more far from the point of critical attraction in order to remain as long as possible in orbital position and to provide the LNG tankers who have come to supply the planetary worksites and the land industry with billions of tons of gas liquefied.

Venus was therefore the first planet "terraformed" through the use of orbital stations called "filtering", sucking a number of chemical elements and reintroducing the largest part modified. Here again the supercomputers were largely solicited in order to define a balance to be followed step by step. It was in 2189 that the first theoretical works, those of the bio-astrophysicist Edwin Shepard, a descendant of the astronaut of the same name, demonstrated the possibility of colonizing Venus by treating her Atmosphere so as to cool it considerably. But it was a Herculean enterprise, and that was encrypted by the International Space Agency to a hundred trillion dollars at the time, about four times more than the colonization of March to its end. But this study was based on the means implemented on Mars, including the famous atmospheric processors, adapted to the infinitely wilder conditions of Venus, with thermoresistant synthesis materials, much more expensive, some of which had to be invented and therefore resulted in additional costs. Exorbitant research as well as unique findings such as the idea of building "mobile processors", real mini processors mounted on huge tires, supposed to play the instability of the soil venereal. But humanity was not ready, by far, to engage in such a project while several major projects were underway on land and on Mars.

In 2260, the idea resurfaced. Mars, having become a dark and muddy world, no longer attracted a capital of sympathy so frank and massive as at the beginning; The great land projects saw their completion near, but especially space had become the great pole of attraction of finance and industry, generating a new breath, an adventure that humanity needed, this great era of prosperity allowed to release the capital necessary for the achievement of a new feat. Jupiter and his moons, especially Europe, possessed an undeniable attraction, but the distances still made the links long, for lack of the key to an effective propulsive system. Venus seemed closer, and her inhospitality came to be, in this optimistic period, a challenge to the human race. To make this planet habitable, to make it a new fief of the land empire, is what motivated the enthusiasm of the general public. Of course, voices were raised against this almost feverish eagerness to play the birth attendants, arguing that the first attempt of man in this field so considerable, was only in its infancy, that the only ones certainties acquired were virtual since they were based on long-term artificial projections, and that common sense required waiting to better engage later, with the experience acquired during the first terraforming, that of Mars.

But the dream, the enthusiasm, dominated, escaping for a time from rationality. Some media echoed this: Venereal colonization had to be started at the earliest, and it should be pursued simultaneously with that of the red planet, because in case of failure of the latter, the star of the shepherd would be able to to house the former Martian settlers and the surplus of the earth's population, billions of people who wanted to flee the crazy and decadent megacities of the old world. The general public had found its new Eldorado, rougher, larger, more promising. The globes holograms launched by powerful industrial consortia boasting of being able to make this planet a paradise in eight or nine centuries were the start of an unprecedented financial outbidding: Each of these large groups were a huge publicity around " their studies, demonstrating that their method was faster and cheaper than that of their neighbor, in order to attract a shareholding literally unleashed in these years of Venusian madness.

It reached its peak in 2267: Weser AFG, the second largest group in the world, launched a pavement in the pond, claiming that he would be able, with the appropriate funds, to make Venus breathable in five centuries. sentence. However, since 2265, the International Space Agency (ISA), finances feasibility studies of the formulas announced with big noise, and at the end of 2266, its report falls like a chopper: All the solutions proposed by the big financial groups are erroneous, because they rely on data whose interpretation can be misleading, and abuse scientific concepts often inappropriate or even completely inaccurate, provided to the mass of shareholders who by definition are not specialists, in order to appear compelling and We do not hesitate to rely on the words of eminent researchers who are out of context or even distorted. This went as far as denouncing the use of complete pseudo-scientific files to which big names had lent their support, or even had been the co-authors, for indirect research funding, even if it meant losing credibility.

But this commotion had as a beneficial action to warn the general public, filtering the information, disentangling the true from the false, and relativizing the supposed results. Only a "major" of the Martian industry, Triagone, escaped criticism, was noticed by the media, and its program this time endorsed by the study commission of the ISA two years later. After various adjustments that took place until 2270, the program, called "Venaissance", contraction of "venus" and "rebirth", was granted an envelope for the practical phase, namely the organization of operations. , the search for financial actors and industrialists. This phase was in the form of sub-operations requiring a multitude of actors for a multitude of missions. For each, a competition was open to the best proposals. Also, it will be necessary to wait until 2275 so that all the actors of Venaissance are able to begin the second phase, industrial.

It was Triagon and two other associated majors who provided the construction of the first five venereal gas mines. Completed in the early seventies, they were transported to Venus in 2276 and were operational the next two years. They innovated over those developed for Jupiter, because they were isolated from high temperature and acid corrosion, and less powerful because the mass of Venus was much less attractive. Officially, Venaissance started on September 6, 2277, when the first station was activated, Jason.

Between 2280 and 2440, forty other stations joined them. They performed a heavy job, transforming the beautiful savage into a new Eden. When they died out, towards the end of the XXIVth century, the heat had fallen to 180 degrees above average zero. The unstable soil had calmed down sufficiently to allow for the construction of temporary structures, before the construction of atmospheric processors of a cheap model, since coming from Martian surpluses.

The third and last phase of the birth was over five centuries. It saw the construction of numerous industrial sites and the birth of a colossal enterprise, a veritable conglomerate that took very seriously the researches carried out on the geological dynamics, the venereal plate tectonics and began by proposing anti-seismic structures, very well adapted, who had immediate success. KAVEC, Kazuchi Antisismic Venusian Engineering Company, with the experience gained on earth was in fact the daughter of a group of Japanese construction industry, also strongly established in San Francisco.

KAVEC, Kazuchi Antisismic Venusian Engineering Company, with the experience gained on earth was in fact the daughter of a group of Japanese construction industry, also strongly established in San Francisco. Strongly demanded, it diversified so much that, following the expansion of activities on the shepherd's star, it became the essential heavy weight of the local economy. Indeed, Venus being dangerously close to the sun, it suffered the gravitational backlash, and its internal structure more agitated and warmer resulted in significant changes in the upper crust, agitated by frequent tremors often beyond the Richter scale. It was the epoch of glory of the Giant Rolling Vehicles, a kind of multi-purpose platform with a fusion turbine, 6-meter heat-resistant wheels, capable of passing through these "NusTrucks" rivers of molten lava if the need arose and a titanium case. The entire structure was covered with ceramic plates trapping a small vacuum of insulating air. Certain areas of Venus were indeed unsuitable for any construction in hard and could therefore be colonized only by mobile structures.

The processors built did their work, dispensing billions of cubic meters of oxygen, enough to drop the temperature significantly, while new clouds, made of sparkling water, began to emerge and replace the dreadful masses of oxygen. acid that invaded the space. The condensation reached such a degree that it allowed the temperature to be gradually lowered, especially as billions of cubic meters of liquid oxygen and nitrogen were discharged by the Venusian orbital stations day after day.

In the combined efforts of eight hundred mobile processors on the surface and seventeen orbital stations bore fruit: The temperature, always very high was however sufficient so that with the concentration of clouds loaded with moisture, one arrives at a reasonable greenhouse effect, and indeed in 3455, against all odds and despite the most reasonable forecasts, the first precipitation was recorded at the poles. (the coldest part, Venus having a "day longer than its year, the poles enjoy temperatures everlastingly lenient ..) The showers will be more frequent and in just half a century, the phenomenon had reached biblical proportions : A deluge under a dark and thick cloud cover is equivalent to twice the largest terrestrial disturbance, and atmospheric pressure still greater than 1.8 Kgs. At cm2 at ground level but sun rays more present thanks to the proximity of the star. We could not breathe on the surface, the air being stained with CO2 and deadly gases including large amounts of sulfur, but the temperature was running at an average of 65 ° to the equator, which was a clear progress and the pressurization was unnecessary, combination accidents were rarely fatal.

In short, Venus was, in the words of Wilbur Stone, the first man to set foot on venereal soil, "a living hell." Precipitation would continue until about the middle of the XXXVIII century. The planet being much larger than Mars, the oceanic mass necessary for its equilibrium was very long to constitute, representing a triple volume. But the progress made in the profitability and performance of the processors was much higher and there were more than 1260 in activity over the entire area, fixed. In 3485, the Venusian population reached three million. Massive immigration began as early as the thirteenth century. 6 major cities were identified and more than 450 "bases" became small villages with structures maintained above ground. Indeed, the chemical composition of it retained the heat. In addition, mudslides were common. The stilt habitat will be the hallmark of local architecture for centuries, a reference that will remain symbolic for many millennia.

The atmospheric equilibrium reached, around 3780, Venus revealed her final face. That of a hot world, what the majority of experts expected. If the poles enjoyed mild temperatures at local standards, minimum 5 ° C. and maximas of 45 ° C - in comparison with the earth! - and a temperature in the tropics and in the "temperate" zones of 22 ° and 65 ° respectively, and finally the equatorial furnace, the terrible anvil for all life, or the recorded minima are invariably above 100 ° C. If the Venusian topography is very tormented, reflecting centuries of magmatic eruptions and upheavals blooming for millions of years, the oceans and seas traversing the equatorial zone of about 4000 km to the north and south , was subject to massive evaporation. An extremely thick cloud bar at an altitude of 20,000 meters, creating a permanent greenhouse effect, accentuated the phenomenon and was responsible for all the weather disturbances on the planet. But Venus being at the limit of the livable area in terms of distance from the sun, we could not ask for more. More importantly, we wanted to maintain a climate balance without over-acting processors still in operation.

The first living organisms parachuted on Venus were in the temperate seas to the north and south. This was plankton slightly modified genetically to meet the extreme temperature of the water (thirty degrees in surface and up to 20 to one hundred meters deep.). But this high-performance plankton proliferated by doing what was expected of him: Between 3650, date of the first adaptations, to 3800, the biological mass of this species had increased by 400%. In 3800, all plant species combined, algae as plants of terrestrial surface, reached fifteen billion tons. A plant explosion due to heat and humidity, the only dry areas located in the extreme north and the South Pole. A dense forest of the Amazonian type colonized a considerable space, from the polar lands to the badlands of the equator. A forest so rapidly developing, and in which so many animal and plant species proliferated, that we were surprised at the effectiveness of genetic manipulation. Indeed, the major difference between the Earth and Venus was especially in the exceptional duration of its "days" as of these nights, implying a total rehabilitation of the biological clock of all the species concerned. Here again, all the power of calculators was put to the test in order to create from simulations theoretical models leading to adapted genetic profiles: millions of years of natural evolution reached in a few hours by the gray thought of the new brains Afterwards, this system remained the one used for all the worlds colonized by the last man.

We could digress for hours on the Venusian history proper, but here only colonization is concerned, it should be said only that later, the majority populations of Venus will come mainly from the middle powers of the South of the Earth world, the old ones economically disadvantaged countries, and that the Venusian economy was essentially agricultural, thus poor, far more than the technological march. Much more habitable in some ways, however, it was the most populated solar system planets in 4500-600. It was on the spot, however, that the Chinese people mounted an original civilization, and founded the most prosperous genetic industry of all time. Also on the ground that the majority of the Terran Artists took up residence at the poles, and that new religious movements were born, like the birth of the neo-tribalism and the primitivist movements in general, responsible for the flight of millions of human beings towards the vast forests to live autonomously in nature, with the most limited means and pulling the mark on the progress made.