Exobiology: Gasbags of Venus

After four-month journeys through space, Russia's Venus 4 and the U.S. Mariner 5 spacecraft will both reach Venus this week. No matter what the space probes find, most scientists have already written off the possibility that Venusian life exists; the planet's apparent surface temperature is approximately 800° F., above the melting point of lead.

Just the same, say Astronomer and Exobiologist* Carl Sagan and Biophysicist Harold Morowitz, it is conceivable that earth's nearest planetary neighbor could be home to living organisms. In balloonlike form, Venusian life could float in the dense atmosphere, never...

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