Landis knows Venus' surface itself is pretty much out of the question for human habitation. But up about 50 kilometers above the surface, Landis says the atmosphere of Venus is the most Earth-like environment, other than Earth itself, in the solar system. What Landis proposes is creating floating cities on Venus where people could live and work, as well as study the planet below.
"There's been a lot of people who have been proposing space colonies, such as colonies that are in free space, separate from any planet," said Landis. "And I said, well, if you're thinking that far into the future why don't we think of some more groundbreaking, or perhaps we should say atmosphere-breaking possibilities."
And speaking of airborne life . . .