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Venera 5 & 6: Diving Towards the Surface of Venus

16 May 2019, 13:37 UTC
Venera 5 & 6: Diving Towards the Surface of Venus
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On October 18, 1967 the sole 1V spacecraft to survive launch for the Soviet “V-67” mission to Venus, called Venera 4, finally reached its target. The carrier released its lander which subsequently entered the Venusian atmosphere and began to transmit data on the properties of an extraterrestrial atmosphere for the first time. After a 93-minute descent, contact with the Venera 4 lander was lost apparently just as it hit the surface where the temperature was measured as 262° C with an estimated pressure of around 18 bars (where one bar is about the Earth’s atmospheric pressure on the surface – see “Venera 4: Probing the Atmosphere of Venus”). Even as the Soviet press hailed the achievement of their first-ever planetary probe that not only returned data from its target but also landed on it, the Soviet design bureau responsible for building the 1V spacecraft, NPO Lavochkin run by Chief Designer Georgi Babakin, was already busy at work designing and building a pair of 2V spacecraft for launch in less than 15 months for the new “V-69” landing mission.

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