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Project HAVOC: NASA Concept Could Explore Venus with Airships (Gallery)

Havoc Airship in Venus Clouds

Advanced Concepts Lab at NASA Langley Research Center

NASA researchers have come up with a plan to send piloted, helium-filled airships cruising through Venusian skies. The idea, called the High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC), could eventually lead to cloud cities on the planet. This view shows the gondola, habitat and ascent vehicle beneath a HAVOC airship.

Manned HAVOC Airship

Advanced Concepts Lab at NASA Langley Research Center

Another view of a manned HAVOC airship.

Side View of a Manned HAVOC Airship

Advanced Concepts Lab at NASA Langley Research Center

Side view of a manned HAVOC airship. Solar panels cover much of the vehicle's top, while under its belly are a gondola, human habitat and rocket that would take astronauts back up to Venus orbit.

Venus Ascent Module and Rocket

Advanced Concepts Lab at NASA Langley Research Center

The two-stage rocket that would take astronauts from Venus' skies up to orbit. At right is the ascent habitat, where crewmembers would sit.

HAVOC Ascent Vehicle Climbing

Advanced Concepts Lab at NASA Langley Research Center

Illustration of the HAVOC ascent vehicle climbing to Venus orbit.

Robotic HAVOC Airship

Advanced Concepts Lab at NASA Langley Research Center

Side view of a robotic HAVOC airship, which would be considerably smaller than the manned version (102 feet long versus 423 feet long) and lack the habitat and ascent vehicle.

HAVOC Airship Entering Venus Atmosphere

Advanced Concepts Lab at NASA Langley Research Center

Diagram showing how a HAVOC airship would enter the Venus atmosphere.

Venus Cloud City

Advanced Concepts Lab at NASA Langley Research Center

Artist's concept of a Venus cloud city — a possible future outcome of the High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC) plan.

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