The solar system: Could you live on Venus?

Did You Know: Space – Could you live on Venus?

Venus is roughly the same size and shape as Earth, but you wouldn’t want to live there. It has a thick, toxic atmosphere and temperatures can get as hot as 880ºF (471ºC).

If an unprotected spacecraft landed on the surface of Venus, it would begin to melt in minutes!

Hot, dry surface

The surface of Venus looks orange because its thick atmosphere traps the sunlight. However, at the surface, there are gray rocks like on the Earth.


Venus has more volcanoes than any other planet in our solar system. There are tens of thousands of them and some may be active.

Thick clouds

Venus has a thick layer of clouds that are made of droplets of acid.

These dangerous clouds speed around the planet, driven by hurricane-force winds.

Toxic air

Venus’s atmosphere is made of toxic carbon dioxide gas. It traps in heat, making the planet very hot. There is no oxygen for humans to breathe on Venus.

How do we know what Venus is like?

Mariner 2

The first spacecraft to fly around Venus was NASA’s Mariner 2 in 1962. Since then, many spacecraft have been to Venus.

Venus Express

Venus Express was a spacecraft that was sent to learn more about Venus’s atmosphere. It was launched in 2005.