Leading experts at the Langley Research Centre are considering whether special helium based airships, powered by solar energy, could be used to allow humans to live in the upper atmosphere of Venus.

With Venus's surface thought to be around 500 degree Celsius, scientists have long put off any ideas of exploring the planet.

The High Altitude Venus Concept mission, known as HAVOC, would use a helium-filled, solar powered airship, which would need to be stored inside the spacecraft in order to avoid damage.

The collapsible airship would then be pumped up with helium once the spacecraft had arrived at its docking point on Venus.

Entering the atmosphere of Venus is not an easy procedure, particularly for a more permanent landing mission. Speeds of 7,200 metres per second would be required whilst the spacecraft would need a parachute and special aeroshell in order to allow it to slow down on arrival.

One of the key reasons for Nasa's interest in Venus is the fact it is located close to Earth. In comparison to Mars, Venus is considered an easier logistical operation, with a return mission taking one year rather than up to three years.

The exciting news comes after Nasa unveiled their latest piece of space exploration equipment, designed to discover and locate new planets and stars.

Scheduled for launching in August 2017, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, better known as Tess, will be sent into space from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

It will embark on a two-year mission, searching for the possibility of life existing on certain planets and stars.

At the cost of an estimated $87m (£55.67m), the satellite's journey will mean it will travel over 150,000 miles above Earth and loop around the moon.