The pressure in the atmosphere is around 90 times that of the Earth's surface, and the surface temperatures of Venus are over 500 degrees Celsius, which is hot enough to melt fragile metals and exceeds that of Mercury. Even though Venus's gravity is close to that of Earth, you could swim or fly in its atmosphere.
The pressure at sea level on Venus is about 90 times that of Earth. If you were to go there in a spaceship and travel only 100 miles above the surface, your vehicle would be completely crushed by the pressure.
The temperature near the surface on Venus is over 480 degrees Fahrenheit (275 degrees Celsius). You would die before you reached a location where you could not survive any longer. But even at the bottom of Venus's enormous gravity well, deep within its crust, temperatures still reach over 740 degrees Fahrenheit (400 degrees Celsius). Here, too, life as we know it would be destroyed before it had a chance to develop.
We will never know if life exists elsewhere in the Universe because it requires three things to exist: energy, water, and nitrogenous chemicals. All these elements are found in the Earth's crust, but not in significant quantities outside of it. For example, oxygen is one quarter of the Earth's air but only 0.03 percent of the gas in Earth's outer space.
It is likely that other planets have environments suitable for life.
That is, its thick atmosphere is dense with heat-trapping carbon dioxide, which keeps the planet's surface temperature about 870 degrees Fahrenheit (465 degrees Celsius). Because Venus's gravity is about 91 percent that of Earth's, you could jump a little higher and items would feel a little lighter on Venus than on Earth. For example, you might hover for a few moments before falling down again.
The atmosphere of Venus is made up of 95% nitrogen and 5% oxygen. The average distance between Venus's clouds is about 50 miles (80 km), but they can be as close as 10 miles (16 km) or as far away as 300 miles (500 km). The clouds are made of sulfuric acid droplets containing silicon dioxide and magnesium fluoride. They cover the planet in an opaque layer 30 to 60 miles (48 to 96 km) deep.
The average temperature inside Venus's clouds is 450 degrees F (232 degrees C), but it can reach 900 degrees F (470 degrees C).
Venus has two small satellites, named Phoebe and Agile, that go by every 48 hours. Phoebe is more heavily cratered than its sister planet, indicating that it was hit by many more asteroids in its history. The name Phoebe comes from a Greek goddess of love and beauty.
Surface Situations Venus has a thick atmosphere with atmospheric pressure that is around 90 times that of Earth. Because the atmosphere is mostly composed of carbon dioxide, the earth is experiencing significant global warming. It is the hottest planet in the Solar System, with temperatures reaching 450°C.
"We require a lander, an orbiter, and a program." Venus is not an easy place to visit. It has a carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere that is 90 times denser than ours, and its surface temperatures average 800 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a high enough surface pressure to crush certain submarines.
The Soviet Union sent three probes to Venus: Salyut in 1971, Soyuz in 1982, and Phobos I in 1989. None of them survived more than two hours on the planet's surface.
The United States has never sent anything larger than a probe to Venus, but it plans to launch the Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (Atva) spacecraft this year to study the planet from deep space. The Atva mission will answer questions about Venus' past and present environment that have puzzled scientists for centuries.
Why go to Venus? As our closest planetary neighbor, Venus offers a glimpse of what Earth might one day become. There are signs that water once flowed on its surface, and it may still do so today in some areas. But most of the planet is cold and airless today, a relic of events that occurred long ago.
Did you know that there is life on Venus? Scientists think that there might be life under the surface of Mars, but they can't say for sure because no one has ever gone there.