Missions To Venus
The United States and Soviet Union have sent many spacecraft to Venus. Some flew by the planet, some orbited it, some descended through the atmosphere and struck the surface (hard-landed), and a few soft-landed on the surface.
|Spacecraft||Launch Date||Type of Mission|
|Mariner 2||1962||Flyby; first to fly by Venus|
|Venera 4||1967||Hard-lander; first to descend through atmosphere|
|Venera 7||1970||Soft-lander; first to soft land on surface|
|Mariner 10||1973||Flyby en route to Mercury|
|Venera 9||1975||Orbiter, soft-lander; first to return photos of surface|
|Venera 10||1975||Orbiter, soft-lander|
|Pioneer-Venus 1||1978||Orbiter with radar altimeter; first detailed radar mapping of surface|
|Pioneer-Venus 2||1978||Four hard-landers|
|Venera 11||1978||Flyby, soft-lander|
|Venera 12||1978||Flyby, soft-lander|
|Venera 13||1981||Orbiter, soft-lander; first color images of surface|
|Venera 14||1981||Orbiter, soft-lander|
|Venera 15||1983||Orbiter with radar mapper|
|Venera 16||1983||Orbiter with radar mapper|
|Vega 1||1984||Flyby, atmospheric balloon probe|
|Vega 2||1984||Flyby, atmospheric balloon probe|
|Magellan||1989||Orbiter with radar mapper; first high-resolution global map of Venus|
|Pioneer-Venus 1 Orbiter
The Pioneer-Venus orbiter carried a radar altimeter, which was used to make the first global map of the surface elevations. The orbiter's main antenna was used to produce moderate-resolution radar images of the equatorial region.
(1:96 scale model) in Exploring The Planets gallery.
| Pioneer-Venus 2
Bus and Landers
The Pioneer-Venus bus carried and released four probes, which measured the atmospheric composition, temperature, and pressure as they descended toward a hard landing on the surface.
Earth-based Observations ||
Seeing Through The Clouds || Volcanism
Other Surface Features || A Global View || Missions To Venus || Mysteries Remain
Venus Facts || Imagery Index
©1998 National Air and Space Museum