Venus, as we all know, is a planet with crushing atmospheric pressure and with clouds filled with sulfuric acid. Due to this horrible atmosphere, humans have never considered carrying out a manned mission to this planet.
However, a group of experts believe that Venus should be the initial target for humans, as space agencies like NASA prepare for the Mars colonization mission.
According to these experts, Venus is significantly closer, thus allowing humans to carry out a return mission doable in a year.
According to a report presented at the International Astronautical Congress last week, a potential flyby on Venus would be scientifically valuable and could provide a crucial experience of a lengthy deep-space mission as a precursor to visiting Mars, The Guardian reported.
"Venus gets a bad rap because it's got such a difficult surface environment. The current Nasa paradigm is moon-to-Mars. We're trying to make the case for Venus as an additional target on that pathway," said Dr Noam Izenberg of the Johns Hopkins University applied physics laboratory, who is also a strong proponent of Venus's mission.
Izenberg believes that performing a slingshot around Venus could reduce the travel time, and the fuel required to reach the Red Planet. He strongly argues that a manned mission to Venus will be a natural stepping stone to achieving the ultimate aim of Mars colonization.
Izenberg added: "We need to understand how we can get out of the cradle and move into the universe."
However, everyone is not convinced about the idea of a manned trip to Venus.
"It's really not a nice place to go. It's a hellish environment and the thermal challenges for a human mission would be quite considerable," said professor Andrew Coates, a space scientist at UCL's Mullard space science laboratory.
He added that Venus could be a place for scientific exploration, but not suitable for a manned mission.