Nov 5, 2019
Belitopia S1E3 – The Venus Flyby p1
Play • 33 min


Among the many missions that came out of the Apollo Applications Program, one of the most amazing was the Venus Flyby mission. Imagine, using the same Apollo technology that brought us to the moon, for a long duration mission to fly by our nearest planetary neighbor, the planet Venus. Humans, traveling to another planet in our solar system. It was an ambitious plan.

Unfortunately, in real life, funding for this mission never materialized. It wasn’t even close. Yes, there was some actual planning that went into a proposed mission, and some early plans were created. But no serious program was budgeted. Given the significant budget cuts after the moon landing, the Venus Flyby mission didn’t really have a chance.

That was in the real world. But this is not the real world…

This is…the “Venus Flyby” mission.

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In the last episode, we talked about the Apollo Applications Program, and the future use of Apollo technology beyond its use in landing on the moon.

During the late 1960’s, one of the missions that was considered for the Apollo Applications Program was a Flyby mission of the planet Venus.

As we discussed previously, due to lack of support from both the Johnson and the Nixon Administrations, the mission never really was taken seriously.

But there was some actual planning that went into this proposed mission. In fact, you can check out Wikipedia and other online sources, and you’ll find information about what was proposed in the late 1960’s for this trip. A high level outline of a mission plan was created. A link to that proposal is included in the links above.

But this is Belitopia. In our world, Johnson and Nixon did support the AAP program, and the Venus Flyby mission was funded.

This episode describes a significant variation from the initial plans that were created in the 1960’s. Instead, it describes a trip that I believe is more inline with what would have actually occurred, if we were allowed to invest in and create such a mission.

In our version of the mission, the one that occurred in the world of Belitopia, the mission was named Venus 1 and it sent two astronauts on a planned nearly seven month round trip on a flyby pass around the planet Venus.

What follows is a fictional documentary about this flyby mission. The documentary takes place in the year 2040, 65 years after the mission took place.

This documentary, titled “Our World in Space”, describes the Venus Flyby mission in greater detail, as a historical record of past events.

While fiction, it’s based on much thought and consideration on what it would take to make such as trip possible. This documentary is about the voyage of the first humans to leave the Earth-Moon system and flyby another planet. This documentary is about the voyage of Venus 1 — the Venus mission, in the world of Belitopia.

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