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The Mission that Never Was: Venus Flyby

StarBase 118 Staff

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It is very interesting the amount of missions that NASA had planned, but never carried out. In the early 1960s, after their success with putting a man on the moon, the expectations and dreams of the fledgling organization had grown colossal. One of the many projects that had been considered was a manned flyby of the planet Venus.

With our present day technology, the idea of doing a flyby of the second planet of our solar system would be dangerous, but NASA felt reasonably confident that they could accomplish it in the 1970s. The concept was published on February 1st, 1967 by Bellcomm Inc. who, at the time, was assisting NASA in their development of future missions. The U.S. scientists felt that a trip to Venus would be relatively the same as a trip to the moon except longer and requiring more creature comforts for the crew.

The mission was scheduled to take four hundred days for a few hours of orbit time around Venus. The document stated that it would be using two modules to house the crew and even bring along a backup rescue pod in case anything went wrong.

In the end though, NASA never really considered launching the mission. For all tense and purpose, the Venus Flyby mission was a feasibility study to determine if it was capable to be carried out. That was probably for the better thanks to our new understanding of the solar system and the hidden dangers 1960s scientists would have been unaware of.

The Venus Flyby is still one of the more interesting pieces of our race’s pursuit for the stars. For more information about this fascinating idea, you can go here: http://amyshirateitel.com/2011/12/03/nasas-manned-mission-to-venus/

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