Sure, what could go wrong?
Ever wanted to live in the atmosphere of our Solar System's hottest planet? In just a few short decades, you might — or at least, that's what the other co-founder of OceanGate, the builder of the doomed Titanic-seeking submersible, is saying.
In an interview with Insider, still-living OceanGate cofounder Guillermo Söhnlein introduced his latest ambitious venture: Humans2Venus, a research group bent on creating a colony that floats above the uber-hot planet's surface and that he says, by 2050, will be home to 1,000 people.
As hostile as the depths of the ocean are, Venus just might be worse. Though the planet has at times been referred to as "Earth's twin," NASA notes that its thick sulfuric atmosphere — the same one that Söhnlein wants to cram a colony into — traps heat in a "runaway greenhouse effect," which leads to surface temperatures of a whopping 900 degrees Fahrenheit. If Venus is our twin, it's the evil one.
The Argentina-born businessman admits, at least, that going to Venus is something of a moonshot.
"You're absolutely right that when you talk about going to Venus, it would raise eyebrows outside the space industry," Söhnlein told Insider. "And it even raises eyebrows inside the space industry."
"It is aspirational," he added, "but I think it's also very doable by 2050."
Forget About Dre
All that trouble with the Titan submersible, meanwhile, is beside the point for the entrepreneur, who resigned as CEO of OceanGate in 2013 but maintained a minority ownership.
"Forget OceanGate. Forget Titan. Forget Stockton [Rush, the CEO who died in the submersible's implosion]," Söhnlein suggested. "Humanity could be on the verge of a big breakthrough and not take advantage of it because we, as a species, are gonna get shut down and pushed back into the status quo."
It's unclear, for now, what exact technological breakthroughs Söhnlein and Humans2Venus expect to bring forth in the next 27-odd years that would allow for a spaceship colony that could withstand the ultraviolet radiation of Venus' atmosphere for prolonged periods of time.
Those matters, however, seem to also be outside his grand vision — and as for the late OceanGate CEO, Söhnlein appears to have nothing but admiration.
"If we didn't have people that like [Rush]," he told Insider, "we'd probably all still be in caves."
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