Who really terraformed Venus?

As @baxter would know I recently discovered the theory that the Hesperonauts were responsible for terraforming Venus. (See Hesperos Type 1)

I personally believe that the Hesperonauts merely made life more comfortable for the colonies.
I believe this due to the language used: “installed the terraform engines and secured Venus’s first colonies”.
They spoke of the colonies rather than speaking about the whole planet.


Good point. It’s really makes you have to think.


After looking around some, I’m thinking that Venus was terraformed through some combination of the Traveler and the Hesperonauts. Ghost Fragment: Venus is pretty vague on the effect that the Traveler had on the planet, but it does say this:

Sunlight starves. The fierceness chills and thins and runs sweet. A new ocean emerges, thick and salty and hot, from springs and geysers that drench the dead ground.

So, we do know that the Traveler is responsible for at least the water on Venus (and, apparently, the Ahamkara). The Hesperonauts were the first to arrive on Venus:

At the dawn of the Golden Age, the Hesperonauts were the first to descend into Venus’s boiling mists.

And are also credited for having “plunged into the fiery calderas of Venus.” A caldera is “a depression created after a volcano releases the majority of the contents of its magma chamber in an explosive eruption.” Given that many real-life calderas are filled with water, such as Crater Lake, it’s not too much of a stretch to assume the calderas on Venus were filled with water through the Traveler’s terraforming.

As far as I can tell, the Traveler did some rudimentary terraforming, and then the Hesperonauts made the planet habitable to humans through the terraform engines.


Very good point!
However, why haven’t we heard of or seen any use of any other terraform engines?
If humanity is able to terraform planets why haven’t they done so on any other planet?

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I think the question of why the engines weren’t further utilized is best left up to Bungie- we may even see them again as soon as Destiny 2, as places like Titan will probably have lore surrounding humanity’s colonization there. From what information we have now, though, I think that the other planets that we see in D1 weren’t in need of any additional terraforming. Places like Mars are implied to have been more greatly transformed than Venus was:

Ancient volcanoes swell, exploding at their peaks and splitting wide along their shoulders. Ash clouds blacken the starved air. A fossil ocean of ice softens and collapses. Geysers erupt, tall as mountains, throwing up steam and clouds.

Additionally, humanity may have used the terraform engines on other planets during the Golden Age, but that knowledge was lost in the Collapse. As the Jupiter card says:

Lord of worlds, massive Jupiter and its moons must have been a cornerstone of Golden Age civilization. But the nature and extent of human presence there is now unknown.

The Saturn card tells a similar story:

Out beyond the Reef its rings shine. Whatever was known of it in the Golden Age is long forgotten[…]

So, we don’t really have a concrete answer right now. Besides, I don’t think that any other planets’ terraformers would be known as Hesperonauts- Hesperus was the Evening Star, or “the planet Venus in the evening.” Any other -nauts would probably use another, if less cool, name.


Really great responses @erin, I didn’t realise the origin of the word Hesperonauts! That’s really cool.


But the cards you quoted (Saturn, Jupiter) just say the extent of human presence is unknown, isn’t it a bit of a stretch to assume that terraform engines were included?
And yes, I hope we’ll find out more about these terraform engines in D2!
Do you think if they aren’t mentioned at all in D2 we can assume that terraform engines aren’t a major player in the Destiny universe?

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Thank you! I had no idea until I googled Hespero- Bungie’s attention to detail is pretty stellar, and I feel like another piece of information gets uncovered with each new thread.


Yeah, it’s definitely a stretch. Given that our knowledge of the other planets is so limited, though, I think a lot of the explanations rely on speculation. We do know the engines were used on Venus, but we don’t know where that information comes from- it may have been in the Ishtar Academy, and recovered post-Collapse. If that’s the case, and the information about the engines was stored on-planet, then any knowledge about Saturn or Jupiter’s technology could have been lost in the Collapse. That’s all hypothetical, though.

(A weird hole in that theory is that one guy who saw a dragon on Jupiter, but that might just be an exaggeration.)

Me too! Also, I wouldn’t strike the idea entirely, but it’s certainly a possibility. The Traveler is largely credited with the transformation of the planets, so places like Jupiter, Saturn, and even Io may have not needed any other terraforming. In that case, the engines could just be a detail that explains all the plant life & atmosphere on Venus.

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It’s been great discussing this with you, thanks for taking the time to reply and comment on this post!

You’re very welcome! Your questions are always insightful, and this post definitely lead to some fun digging through the Collective. :smile:

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I love love love the story behind the Hesperos suit. Seriously good stuff!

One thing to bear in mind, when it comes to answering the question of “Why don’t we hear more about these terraforming engines?” is that the vast majority of what we and the Vanguard now know of Venus during the Golden Age comes from the mission The Archive. At the end of that mission, we must protect our Ghost as they download the data from Dr. Shims main terminal within the Acadamy of the Ishtar Collective. The main focus, at that time, was the Vex. So it stands to reason that it would take some time for the Cryptarchs to begin researching any other findings from that mission. Keep in mind also that this armor was released a Playstation exclusive Legendary armor at the time of TTK.

As for why humanity had to further terraform Venus in the first place? Well, my very loose theory is that when the Traveler started the terraforming process on Venus, it came across the Vex (we know from our first mission on Venus that many of the structures found there pre-date humanity by centuries if I’m not mistaken) and fled. No, there is no proof of this, other than the fact that the Traveler did not stay and terraform it further. Humanity comes to Venus, later into the Golden Age, to find that the planet is only partial inhabitable. We take it upon ourselves to finish the job the Traveler started and find the Vex ourselves.

FInally, as for why we do not see these terraforming engines anywhere - well, from the flavor text of the armor itself, it states that these engines were placed deep underwater. And, if you look closely at the design of the armor itself, you will notice that it is modeled after deep water diving gear.

Awesome piece of item lore for which got me into item lore and trivia in the first place!


Wow, great post man!
And you just BLEW my mind.
Yes, the fact that the vex were already there is an EXTREMELY viable reason to explain why only Venus is known to have terraforming engines.

Thanks, @The_Darkness. Items, in the world of Destiny 1, really fill the gaps when it comes to story or lack of story that so many people in the community complain about. Personally, it’s my passion to spread the word about the awesome stories that are told through these items, such as the example you posted about here. I can go on and on about the different connections and parallels that are made in regard to the weapons and items within Destiny 1.

Here’s to Destiny 2 hopefully keeping up with that tradition. And thank you for bringing up this amazing set of armor that almost no one knows anything about. Bottles up or pinkies out, which ever you prefer

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Thanks for the kind words!
But the true credit goes to @BlueCrew86 who told @Baxter who told @me!

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