Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets

Come and explore the planets with Eden. Dive with us below the ice on one of Jupiter's moons, stroll around Saturn's rings and get lost in a Venusian sulphuric storm, just don't expect us to make you weightless.

Earth from Space

Port of call: Venus
Distance from Earth: 26 million miles
Average temperature: 449° C The first stop on our travels is Earth's sister planet, Venus. Its landscape is similar to Earth's own: dramatic volcanoes and Venus-quakes rattle the planet while deep valleys and breathtaking "snow"-capped mountains inspire visitors. The "snow" is actually lead sulphide, not recommended for snowball fights - but it never melts. A good thing really, since Venus's thick cover of sulphuric acid clouds creates one mean greenhouse effect, often driving temperatures higher than 500° C.


Port of call: Mars
Distance from Earth: 35 million miles
Average temperature: -63° C
After tackling sizzling Venus, the team heads off to the Red Planet, Mars. Though evidence suggests that there may be life on Mars, don't expect a welcoming committee of little green men. The closest you'll likely get is a few methane signatures and some dirty ice. Giant red dust storms and radiation levels that would kill a cockroach at 2000 paces make Mars a pretty grim place to holiday. But the promise of visiting Valles Marineris, the Grand Canyon of Mars, which is wide enough to stretch from New York City to Los Angeles, is enticing just the same.


Port of call: Jupiter
Distance from Earth: 370 million miles
Average temperature: -148° C
After a close call with a solar storm on Mars, the team makes a b-line for Jupiter. As the biggest planet, Jupiter is no stranger to storms. For the past 300 years there's been a ferocious hurricane raging on the planet's surface, big enough to hold two Earths. Since Jupiter doesn't have a solid surface - it's made entirely of gas - the team land on Io, the largest of Jupiter's 28 moons, instead. Io is the most volcanically active location in the solar system, and the real tourist attraction in the area. Its rugged landscape is constantly spewing sulphuric acid into the air, creating vibrant firework-like displays. Unfortunately for the potential tourist, Io also boasts levels of radiation 1000 times that needed to kill a human.


Port of call: Saturn
Distance from Earth: 744 million miles
Average temperature: -184° C
The team wisely decide to leave all that astounding beauty and deadly radiation behind to take a walk on one of Saturn's rings. The rings, almost 250,000 km in diameter and a measly 1 km thick, are formed of trillions of water ice particles and a few million chunks of rock. Saturn itself is not a great place to visit: clouds of methane and helium cover a liquid sky, which is a giant ocean of chemicals (like our own will soon be if we're not careful).


Port of call: Pluto
Distance from Earth: 2.67 billion miles
Average temperature: -234°C
Pluto is so small some scientists don't consider it a planet at all. Others classify Charon, Pluto's gigantic moon, as another planet, making the pair "double planets". Because it's so far away and small, Pluto wasn't even discovered until 1930, and no space probe has ever been there. If you plan to visit, reduce your journey time by going during one of the 20-year periods when Pluto enters Neptune's orbit, bringing it closer to Earth than the stormy blue planet. The last period was between 1979 and 1999, so you'll have to wait until September 2226 for your Plutonian weekend break.