Encyclopedia Astronautica
Venera



ven8.jpg
Venera 8 lander
Venera-8/9 landing capsule
Credit: Andy Salmon
venera15.jpg
Venera 15
Venera-15 Venus radar lunar surface mapper
Credit: Andy Salmon
vega.jpg
Vega lander
VeGa-1/2 Venus lander
Credit: Andy Salmon
Russian series of spacecraft that explored the planet Venus. Venera spacecraft made the first soft landings on the surface of Venus and returned the first images from the surface.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Korolev Korolev, Sergei Pavlovich (1907-1966) Soviet Chief Designer, responsible for creating the first long range ballistic missiles, the first space launchers, the first artificial satellite, and putting the first man in space. After his premature death the Soviets lagged in space. More...
  • Glushko Glushko, Valentin Petrovich (1908-1989) Soviet Chief Designer, responsible for all large liquid propellant engines for missiles and LVs. Led Glushko bureau, 1946-1974; Headed NPO Energia 1974-1989, directing development of Energia launch vehicle and Buran spaceplane. More...
  • Babakin Babakin, Georgi Nikolayevich (1914-1971) Russian chief designer. Chief Designer of Lavochkin design bureau, 1965-1971. More...
  • Ponomaryova Ponomaryova, Valentina Leonidovna (1933-) Ukrainian pilot cosmonaut, 1962-1969. Was married to astronaut Yuri Ponomaryov. More...
  • Tereshkova Tereshkova, Valentina Vladimirovna (1937-) Russian cosmonaut. First woman in space, aboard Vostok 6. But the flight was propaganda and future spaceflight opportunities did not develop. Was married to cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev. Later a leading Communist politician. More...
  • Solovyova Solovyova, Irina Bayanovna (1937-) Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1962-1969. More...
  • Yerkina Yerkina, Zhanna Dmitriyevna (1939-) Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1962-1969. More...
  • Kuznetsova Kuznetsova, Tatyana Dmitryevna nee Pitskhelauri (1941-) Russian pilot cosmonaut, 1962-1969. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Venera 1VA Russian Venus probe. 2 launches, 1961.02.12 (Sputnik 7) to (Venera 1). The 1VA probe, the first spacecraft sent towards Venus, consisted of a cylindrical body topped by a dome, totaling 2 meters in height. More...
  • Mars 2MV-1 Russian Venus probe. 2 launches, 1962.08.25 (Sputnik 19) to 1962.09.01 (Sputnik 20). More...
  • Venera 3MV-1 Russian Venus probe. 3 launches, 1964.02.19 (3MV-1 No. 2 SA) to 1964.04.02 (Zond 1). More...
  • Venera 3MV-4 Russian Venus probe. 2 launches, 1965.11.12 (Venera 2) to 1965.11.23 (Cosmos 96). Carried a TV system and scientific instruments. More...
  • Venera 3MV-3 Russian Venus probe. One launch, 1965.11.16, Venera 3. The mission of this spacecraft was to land on the Venusian surface. More...
  • Venera 1V (V-67) Russian Venus probe. 2 launches, 1967.06.12 (Venera 4) to 1967.06.17 (Cosmos 167). Venus probe with the announced mission of direct atmospheric studies. More...
  • Venera 2V (V-69) Russian Venus probe. 2 launches, 1969.01.05 (Venera 6) to 1969.01.10 (Venera 6). Spacecraft was very similar to Venera 4 / 1V (V-67) although the descent module was of a stronger design. More...
  • Venera 3V (V-70) Russian Venus probe. 2 launches, 1970.08.17 (Venera 7) to 1970.08.22 (Cosmos 359). Venus lander intended to study the Venusian atmosphere and other phenomena of the planet. More...
  • Venera 3V (V-72) Russian Venus probe. 2 launches, 1972.03.27 (Venera 8) to 1972.03.31 (Cosmos 482). Venus atmospheric probe; instrumentation included temperature, pressure, and light sensors as well as radio transmitters. More...
  • Venera 4V-1 Russian Venus probe. 6 launches, 1975.06.08 (Venera 9) to 1981.11.04 (Venera 14). More...
  • Venera 4V-2 Russian Venus probe. 2 launches, 1983.06.02 (Venera 15) to 1983.06.07 (Venera 16). Venera radar mappers which used an 8 cm band side-looking radar to study the surface properties of Venus. More...
  • Vega 5VK Russian Venus probe. 2 launches, 1984.12.15 (Vega 1) to 1984.12.21 (Vega 2). The Vega 5VK spacecraft was designed for a mission combining a flyby of the planet Venus followed by an encounter with Halley's Comet. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Molniya 8K78 Russian orbital launch vehicle. Four stage derivative of the R-7 ICBM developed on a crash-program basis in 1960 for Soviet lunar and planetary deep space probe missions. The third stage found later use in the Voskhod and Soyuz launchers. By the 1970's mature versions of the launch vehicle were used almost entirely for launch of Molniya communications satellites and Oko missile early warning spacecraft into elliptical, 12-hour earth orbits. More...
  • Molniya 8K78M Russian orbital launch vehicle. Improved Molniya, in variants with Blocks ML, 2BL, or SO-L third stages according to payload. More...
  • Proton-K/D Russian orbital launch vehicle. This four stage version of the Proton was originally designed to send manned circumlunar spacecraft into translunar trajectory. Guidance to the Block D stage must be supplied by spacecraft. The design was proposed on 8 September 1965 by Korolev as an alternate to Chelomei's LK-1 circumlunar mission. It combined the Proton 8K82K booster for the LK-1 with the N1 lunar Block D stage to boost a stripped-down Soyuz 7K-L1 spacecraft around the moon. The Korolev design was selected, and first flight came on 10 March 1967. The crash lunar program led to a poor launch record. Following a protracted ten year test period, the booster finally reached a level of launch reliability comparable to that of other world launch vehicles. More...
  • Proton-K/D-1 Russian orbital launch vehicle. This derivative of the original four stage Block D / 11S824 version of the Proton was used from 1978 to launch Lavochkin OKB planetary probes (Mars, Venera) and high earth orbit astronomical observatories (Astron, Granat). Guidance to the Block D-1 stage must be supplied by spacecraft. Equipped with N2O4/UDMH verniers for precise placement of payloads in high orbits or planetary trajectories. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...
  • RVSN Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Raketniye Voiska Stratigcheskovo Naznacheniya (Russian Strategic Rocket Forces), Russia. More...
  • MOM Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of General Machine Building (Moskva, Russia), Moscow, Russia. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Venera Chronology


1961 January 5 - . LV Family: R-16. Launch Vehicle: R-16.
  • State Commission Meeting - . Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Keldysh; Korolev; Barmin; Glushko; Semenov; Bushuyev; Rudnev. Program: Vostok; Venera. Spacecraft: Vostok. Rudnev chaired the meeting, which first heard the failure analysis for the failed Mars launches on 10 and 14 October and the R-16 catastrophe on 24 October. All of these had been accelerated to coincide with Khrushchev's visit to the United Nations in New York, in Kamanin's view a criminal rush that led to the death of 74 officers and men in the R-16 explosion. Future plans were then reviewed. Launches of probes toward Venus were planned for 20-23 January, 28-30 January, and 8-10 February. Four Vostok manned spacecraft were completed, with first launch scheduled for 5 February and the second for 15-20 February.

1961 February 4 - . 01:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78 L1-7. FAILURE: At T+531 sec, the fourth vernier chamber of Stage 3's 8D715K engine exploded because the LOX cut-off valve had not closed as scheduled and LOX flowed into the hot chamber.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Sputnik 7 - . Payload: 2MV-2 s/n 1. Mass: 6,483 kg (14,292 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev; Glushko. Agency: RVSN. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 1VA. Decay Date: 1961-02-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 71 . COSPAR: 1961-Beta-1. Apogee: 318 km (197 mi). Perigee: 212 km (131 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 89.80 min. The escape stage entered parking orbit but the main engine cut off just 0.8 s after ignition due to cavitation in the oxidiser pump and pump failure.. The payload attached together with escape stage remained in Earth orbit.

    The booster launched into a beautiful clear sky, and it could be followed by the naked eye for four minutes after launch. The third stage reached earth parking orbit, but the fourth stage didn't ignite. It was at first believed a radio antenna did not deploy from the interior of the stage, and it did not receive the ignition commands. Therefore the Soviet Union has successfully orbited a record eight-tonne 'Big Zero' into orbit. The State Commission meets two hours after the launch, and argues whether to make the launch public or not, and how to announce it. Glushko proposes the following language for a public announcement: 'with the objective of developing larger spacecraft, a payload was successfully orbited which provided on the first revolution the necessary telemetry'. Korolev and the others want to minimize any statement, to prevent speculation that it was a reconnaissance satellite or a failed manned launch. Kamanin's conclusion - the rocket didn't reach Venus, but it did demonstrated a new rocket that could deliver an 8 tonne thermonuclear warhead anywhere on the planet. The commission heads back to Moscow.


1961 February 12 - . 00:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78 L1-6B.
  • Venera 1 - . Payload: 1VA s/n 2, Venera 1 (Sputnik 8, AMS). Mass: 644 kg (1,419 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Korolev. Agency: RVSN. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 1VA. USAF Sat Cat: 80 . COSPAR: 1961-Gamma-1. Venera 1 was the first spacecraft to fly by Venus. The 6424 kg assembly was launched first into a 229 x 282 km parking orbit, then boosted toward Venus by the restartable Molniya upper stage. On 19 February, 7 days after launch, at a distance of about two million km from Earth, contact with the spacecraft was lost. On May 19 and 20, 1961, Venera 1 passed within 100,000 km of Venus and entered a heliocentric orbit. This failure resulted in only the following objectives being met: checking of methods of setting space objects on an interplanetary course; checking of extra-long-range communications with and control of the space station; more accurate calculation of the dimension of the solar system; a number of physical investigations in space. Additional Details: here....

1962 August 25 - . 02:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78 T103-12. FAILURE: At T+60 min 50 sec one of the four solid motors of the escape stage's BOZ unit did not fire. The resulting asymmetric torque caused the stage to lose correct attitude and three seconds after ignition of the main engine S1.5400A1 it began to tumble.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Sputnik 19 - . Payload: 2MV-1 s/n 1. Mass: 890 kg (1,960 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Kuznetsova; Ponomaryova; Solovyova; Tereshkova; Yerkina. Agency: RVSN. Program: Venera; Vostok. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Mars 2MV-1. Decay Date: 1962-08-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 371 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Pi-1. Apogee: 252 km (156 mi). Perigee: 173 km (107 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Attempt to launch a probe towards Mars. The launch went well, but the fourth stage motor burnt for only 45s of the planned 240s. The stage remained in Earth orbit. However Kamanin notes that it was good that the launch of the basic vehicle was a success - it gave the visiting female cosmonauts confidence in the rocket they will have to ride.

1962 September 1 - . 02:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78 T103-13. FAILURE: At T+ 61 min 30 sec the fuel valve did not open.; the ignition command was blocked from going to the main engine of Stage 4.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Sputnik 20 - . Payload: 2MV-1 s/n 2. Mass: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Mars 2MV-1. Decay Date: 1962-09-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 381 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Tau-1. Apogee: 246 km (152 mi). Perigee: 185 km (114 mi). Inclination: 64.7000 deg. Period: 88.80 min.

1962 September 12 - . 00:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78 T103-14. FAILURE: At T+531 sec, the fourth vernier chamber of Stage 3's 8D715K engine exploded because the LOX cut-off valve had not closed as scheduled and LOX flowed into the hot chamber.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Sputnik 21 - . Payload: 2MV-2 s/n 1. Mass: 6,500 kg (14,300 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: RVSN. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Mars 2MV-2. Decay Date: 1962-09-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 389 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Phi-1. Apogee: 218 km (135 mi). Perigee: 179 km (111 mi). Inclination: 64.9000 deg. Period: 88.40 min. Summary: The escape stage entered parking orbit but the main engine cut off just 0.8 s after ignition due to cavitation in the oxidiser pump and pump failure..

1964 March 1 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M s/n T15000-22.
  • Venus launch delayed. - . Payload: 3MV-1. Nation: USSR. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 3MV-1. Decay Date: 1964-03-01 . Summary: The launch was delayed due to malfunctions during prelaunch service..

1964 March 27 - . 03:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M T15000-22. FAILURE: During unpowered coast in parking orbit the escape stage Block L lost stable attitude due to a loss of the power circuit of the pneumatic valves of the attitude control and stabilization system.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Cosmos 27 - . Payload: 3MV-1 s/n 3. Mass: 890 kg (1,960 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: Korolev. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 3MV-1. Decay Date: 1964-03-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 772 . COSPAR: 1964-014A. Apogee: 209 km (129 mi). Perigee: 197 km (122 mi). Inclination: 64.8000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Summary: The stage with payload remained in Earth orbit as Cosmos-27..

1964 April 2 - . 02:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M T15000-23.
  • Zond 1 - . Payload: 3MV-1 s/n 4. Mass: 890 kg (1,960 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: Korolev. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 3MV-1. USAF Sat Cat: 785 . COSPAR: 1964-016D. Summary: Failed Venus probe. Solar Orbit (Heliocentric). Elaboration of a long range space system and conduct of scientific research..

1965 November 12 - . 05:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Venera 2 - . Payload: 3MV-4 s/n 4. Mass: 962 kg (2,120 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 3MV-4. USAF Sat Cat: 1730 . COSPAR: 1965-091A. Apogee: 315 km (195 mi). Perigee: 205 km (127 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 89.71 min. Venera 2 was launched towards the planet Venus and carried a TV system and scientific instruments. On February 27, 1966, the spacecraft passed Venus at a distance of 24,000 km and entered a heliocentric orbit. The spacecraft system had ceased to operate before the planet was reached and returned no data.

1965 November 16 - . 04:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Venera 3 - . Payload: 3MV-3 s/n 1. Mass: 958 kg (2,112 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 3MV-3. Decay Date: 1966-03-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 1733 . COSPAR: 1965-092A. Venera 3 was launched towards the planet Venus. The mission was to land on the Venusian surface. The entry vehicle contained a radio communication system, scientific instruments, electrical power sources, and medallions bearing the coat of arms of the U.S.S.R. The station impacted Venus on March 1, 1966. However, the communications systems had failed before planetary data could be returned.

1965 November 23 - . 03:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. FAILURE: At T+528 sec, during the final thrust phase of the Block I's 8D715K engine, one of the combustion chambers blew up due to a tear in the fuel pipeline. This resulted in an abnormal separation of the upper stages.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Cosmos 96 - . Payload: 3MV-4 s/n 6. Mass: 960 kg (2,110 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 3MV-4. Decay Date: 1965-12-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 1742 . COSPAR: 1965-094A. Apogee: 296 km (183 mi). Perigee: 222 km (137 mi). Inclination: 51.9000 deg. Period: 89.70 min. Summary: The escape stage Block L entered parking orbit tumbling and was not able to operate properly..

1965 November 26 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Venus launch delayed. - . Payload: 3MV-3. Nation: USSR. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 3MV-3. Decay Date: 1965-11-26 . Summary: The launch attempt was abandoned due to a launch vehicle malfunction during pre-launch preparations..

1967 June 12 - . 02:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Venera 4 - . Payload: 1V (V-67) s/n 310. Mass: 1,104 kg (2,433 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 1V (V-67). Decay Date: 1967-10-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 2840 . COSPAR: 1967-058A. Venera 4 was successfully launched towards the planet Venus with the announced mission of direct atmospheric studies. On October 18, 1967, the descent vehicle entered the Venusian atmosphere. Signals were returned by the spacecraft, which deployed a parachute after braking to subsonic velocity in the Venusian atmosphere, until it reached an altitude of 24.96 km.

1967 June 17 - . 02:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. FAILURE: Stage 4's engine 11D33 failed to ignite because the turbopump had not been cooled before ignition.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Cosmos 167 - . Payload: 1V (V-67) s/n 311. Mass: 1,106 kg (2,438 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 1V (V-67). Decay Date: 1967-06-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 2852 . COSPAR: 1967-063A. Apogee: 264 km (164 mi). Perigee: 211 km (131 mi). Inclination: 51.8000 deg. Period: 89.20 min. Suggestions for the cause of the failure included incorrect soldering of wires in multiple pin plugs, wrong attachments of the plugs to the pyrotechnic connectors, or a mix-up of the pyrotechnic connectors during assembly.. Investigation of the upper atmosphere and outer space.

1969 January 5 - . 06:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Venera 5 - . Payload: 2V (V-69) s/n 330. Mass: 1,128 kg (2,486 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Babakin. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 2V (V-69). Decay Date: 1969-05-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 3642 . COSPAR: 1969-001A. Venera 5 is launched at 9:26 Moscow time from LC-31 in -23 deg C temperatures. All proceeds according to plan. Afterwards Kamanin meets Babakin. Venera 6 is planned for launch in 10 January. He also plans two moon landings in 1969 and two in 1970 of soil sample return spacecraft. Kamanin does not believe America can achieve a manned moon landing in 1969, and therefore that Babakin has a very good chance of stealing their thunder.

    Meanwhile Venera 5 was launched from its parking orbit towards Venus to obtain atmospheric data. The spacecraft was very similar to Venera 4 although it was of a stronger design. When the atmosphere of Venus was approached, a capsule weighing 405 kg and containing scientific instruments was jettisoned from the main spacecraft. During satellite descent towards the surface of Venus, a parachute opened to slow the rate of descent. For 53 min on May 16, 1969, while the capsule was suspended from the parachute, data from the Venusian atmosphere were returned. The spacecraft also carried a medallion bearing the coat of arms of the U.S.S.R. and a bas-relief of V.I. Lenin to the night side of Venus.


1969 January 10 - . 05:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Venera 6 - . Payload: 2V (V-69) s/n 331. Mass: 1,128 kg (2,486 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 2V (V-69). Decay Date: 1969-05-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 3648 . COSPAR: 1969-002A. Venera 6 was launched towards Venus to obtain atmospheric data. When the atmosphere of Venus was approached, a capsule weighing 405 kg was jettisoned from the main spacecraft. This capsule contained scientific instruments. During descent towards the surface of Venus, a parachute opened to slow the rate of descent. For 51 min on May 17, 1969, while the capsule was suspended from the parachute, data from the Venusian atmosphere were returned. The spacecraft also carried a medallion bearing the coat of arms of the U.S.S.R. and a bas-relief of V.I. Lenin to the night side of Venus.

1970 August 17 - . 05:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. Launch Pad: LC1 or LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Venera 7 - . Payload: 3V (V-70) s/n 630. Mass: 1,180 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 3V (V-70). Decay Date: 1970-12-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 4489 . COSPAR: 1970-060A. Venera 7 was launched from an earth parking orbit towards Venus to study the Venusian atmosphere and other phenomena of the planet. Venera 7 entered the atmosphere of Venus on December 15, 1970, and a landing capsule was jettisoned. After aerodynamic braking, a parachute system was deployed. The capsule antenna was extended, and signals were returned for 35 min. Another 23 min of very weak signals were received after the spacecraft landed on Venus. The capsule was the first man-made object to return data after landing on another planet.

1970 August 22 - . 05:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. FAILURE: The escape stage Block L's engine 11D33 was late igniting and cut off early at 25 seconds after firing due to abnormal operation of the sequencer and a DC transformer failure.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Cosmos 359 - . Payload: 3V (V-70) s/n 631. Mass: 1,180 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 3V (V-70). Decay Date: 1970-11-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 4501 . COSPAR: 1970-065A. Apogee: 908 km (564 mi). Perigee: 195 km (121 mi). Inclination: 51.2000 deg. Period: 95.70 min. Summary: Probable Venus probe failure..

1972 March 27 - . 04:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M.
  • Venera 8 - . Payload: 3V (V-72) s/n 670. Mass: 1,180 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 3V (V-72). Decay Date: 1972-07-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 5912 . COSPAR: 1972-021A. Apogee: 246 km (152 mi). Perigee: 194 km (120 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Venus atmospheric probe. The spacecraft took 117 days to reach Venus, entering the atmosphere on 22 July 1972. Descent speed was reduced from 41,696 km/hr to about 900 km/hr by aerobraking. The 2.5 meter diameter parachute opened at an altitude of 60 km, and a refrigeration system was used to cool the interior components. Venera 8 transmitted data during the descent and continued to send back data for 50 minutes after landing. The probe confirmed the earlier data on the high Venus surface temperature and pressure returned by Venera 7, and also measured the light level as being suitable for surface photography, finding it to be similar to the amount of light on Earth on an overcast day.

1972 March 31 - . 04:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. FAILURE: The escape stage Block L's engine cut off 125 seconds after ignition due to timer failure.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Cosmos 482 - . Payload: 3V (V-72) s/n 671. Mass: 1,180 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 3V (V-72). Decay Date: 1981-05-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 5919 . COSPAR: 1972-023A. Apogee: 9,806 km (6,093 mi). Perigee: 204 km (126 mi). Inclination: 52.0000 deg. Period: 201.40 min.

1975 June 8 - . 02:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D 286-01.
  • Venera 9 - . Payload: 4V-1 s/n 660. Mass: 4,936 kg (10,882 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 4V-1. USAF Sat Cat: 7915 . COSPAR: 1975-050A. Apogee: 112,200 km (69,700 mi). Perigee: 1,510 km (930 mi). Inclination: 34.1500 deg. Period: 2,898.00 min. Combined Venus orbiter/lander mission. After separation of the lander, the orbiter spacecraft entered Venus orbit and acted as a communications relay for the lander and explored cloud layers and atmospheric parameters. On October 20, 1975, the Descent Craft was separated from the Orbiter, and landing was made with the sun near zenith at 05:13 GMT on October 22. The Descent Craft included a system of circulating fluid to distribute the heat load. This system, plus precooling prior to entry, permitted operation of the spacecraft for 53 min after landing. The landing was about 2,200 km from the Venera 10 landing site. Preliminary results indicated: (A) clouds 30-40 km thick with bases at 30-35 km altitude, (B) atmospheric constituents including HCl, HF, Br, and I, (C) surface pressure about 90 (earth) atmospheres, (D) surface temperature 485 deg C, (E) light levels comparable to those at earth midlatitudes on a cloudy summer day, and (F) successful TV photography showing shadows, no apparent dust in the air, and a variety of 30-40 cm rocks which were not eroded. Venera 9 and 10 were the first probes to send back black and white pictures from the Venusian surface. They were supposed to make 360 degree panoramic shots, but on both landers one of two camera covers failed to come off, restricting their field of view to 180 degrees. Parameters are for Venus orbit.

1975 June 14 - . 03:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D 285-02.
  • Venera 10 - . Payload: 4V-1 s/n 661. Mass: 5,033 kg (11,095 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 4V-1. USAF Sat Cat: 7947 . COSPAR: 1975-054A. Apogee: 113,900 km (70,700 mi). Perigee: 1,620 km (1,000 mi). Inclination: 29.5000 deg. Period: 2,963.00 min. The orbiter spacecraft entered Venus orbit and was separated from the lander on October 23, 1975. The lander touched down with the sun near zenith, at 05:17 GMT, on October 25. A system of circulating fluid was used to distribute the heat load. This system, plus precooling prior to entry, permitted operation of the spacecraft for 65 min after landing. During descent, heat dissipation and deceleration were accomplished sequentially by protective hemispheric shells, three parachutes, a disk-shaped drag brake, and a compressible, metal, doughnut-shaped, landing cushion. The landing was about 2,200 km distant from Venera 9. Preliminary results provided: (A) profile of altitude (km)/pressure (earth atmospheres) / temperature (deg C) of 42/3.3/158, 15/37/363, and 0/92/465, (B) successful TV photography showing large pancake rocks with lava or other weathered rocks in between, and (C) surface wind speed of 3.5 m/s. Venera 9 and 10 were the first probes to send back black and white pictures from the Venusian surface. They were supposed to make 360 degree panoramic shots, but on both landers one of two camera covers failed to come off, restricting their field of view to 180 degrees.

1978 September 9 - . 03:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/23. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D-1. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D-1 296-01.
  • Venera 11 - . Payload: 4V-1 s/n 360. Mass: 4,715 kg (10,394 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 4V-1. USAF Sat Cat: 11020 . COSPAR: 1978-084A. Venera 11 was part of a two-spacecraft mission to study Venus and the interplanetary medium. Each of the two spacecraft, Venera 11 and Venera 12, consisted of a flight platform and a lander probe. Identical instruments were carried on both spacecraft. Venera 11 was launched into a 177 x 205 km, 51.5 degree inclination earth orbit from which it was propelled into a 3.5 month Venus transfer orbit. After ejection of the lander probe, the flight platform continued on past Venus in a heliocentric orbit. Near encounter with Venus occurred on December 25, 1978, at approximately 34,000 km altitude. The flight platform acted as a data relay for the descent craft for 95 minutes until it flew out of range and returned its own measurements on interplanetary space. The Venera 11 descent craft separated from its flight platform on December 23, 1978 and entered the Venus atmosphere two days later at 11.2 km/sec. During the descent, it employed aerodynamic braking followed by parachute braking and ending with atmospheric braking. It made a soft landing on the surface at 06:24 Moscow time on 25 December after a descent time of approximately 1 hour. The touchdown speed was 7-8 m/s.

    Both Venera 11 and 12 landers failed to return colour television views of the surface and perform soil analysis experiments. All of the camera protective covers failed to eject after landing (the cause was not established) The soil drilling experiment was apparently damaged by a leak in the soil collection device, the interior of which was exposed to the high Venusian atmospheric pressure. The leak had probably formed during the descent phase because the lander was less aerodynamically stable than had been thought.

    Two further experiments on the lander failed as well. Results reported included evidence of lightning and thunder, a high Ar36/Ar40 ratio, and the discovery of carbon monoxide at low altitudes.


1978 September 14 - . 02:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC81/24. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D-1. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D-1 296-02.
  • Venera 12 - . Payload: 4V-1 s/n 361. Mass: 4,715 kg (10,394 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 4V-1. USAF Sat Cat: 11025 . COSPAR: 1978-086A. Venera 12 was part of a two-spacecraft mission to study Venus and the interplanetary medium. Each of the two spacecraft, Venera 11 and Venera 12, consisted of a flight platform and a lander probe. Identical instruments were carried on both spacecraft. Venera 12 was launched into a 177 x 205 km, 51.5 degree inclination Earth orbit from which it was propelled into a 3.5 month Venus transfer orbit which involved two mid-course corrections, on 21 September and 14 December. After ejection of the lander probe on 19 December, two days before encounter, the flight platform continued on past Venus in a heliocentric orbit. Near encounter with Venus occurred on December 21, 1978, at approximately 34,000 km altitude. The flight platform acted as a data relay for the descent craft for 110 minutes until it flew out of range and returned to its own measurements on interplanetary space. The Venera 12 descent craft entered the Venus atmosphere at 11.2 km/sec two days after separation from the flight bus. During the descent, it employed aerodynamic braking followed by parachute braking and ending with atmospheric braking. It made a soft landing on the surface at 06:30 Moscow time on 21 December after a descent time of approximately 1 hour. The touchdown speed was 7-8 m/s.

    Both Venera 11 and 12 landers failed to return colour television views of the surface and perform soil analysis experiments. All of the camera protective covers failed to eject after landing (the cause was not established) The soil drilling experiment was apparently damaged by a leak in the soil collection device, the interior of which was exposed to the high Venusian atmospheric pressure. The leak had probably formed during the descent phase because the lander was less aerodynamically stable than had been thought. Therefore the landing gear of the following two landers (Venera-13/14) were equipped with tooth-shaped stabilisers.

    Results reported included evidence of lightning and thunder, a high Ar36/Ar40 ratio, and the discovery of carbon monoxide at low altitudes.

    The Venera-12 flyby bus continued in solar orbit and successfully used its Soviet-French ultraviolet spectrometer to study Comet Bradfield on 13 February 1980 (one year and two months after its Venus encounter). At that time the spacecraft was 190,373,790 km from Earth.


1981 October 30 - . 06:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/40. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D-1. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D-1 311-01.
  • Venera 13 - . Payload: 4V-1 s/n 760. Mass: 4,500 kg (9,900 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 4V-1. USAF Sat Cat: 12927 . COSPAR: 1981-106A. Venera 13 and 14 were identical spacecraft built to take advantage of the 1981 Venus launch opportunity and launched 5 days apart. After launch and a four month cruise to Venus, the descent vehicle separated and plunged into the Venus atmosphere on 1 March 1982. As it flew by Venus the bus acted as a data relay for the brief life of the descent vehicle, and then continued on into a heliocentric orbit. After the descent vehicle braked to subsonic speed a parachute was deployed. At an altitude of 47 km the parachute was released and simple airbraking was used the rest of the way to the surface. Venera 13 landed about 950 km northeast of Venera 14 at 7 deg 30 min S, 303 E, just east of the eastern extension of an elevated region known as Phoebe Regio. The area was composed of bedrock outcrops surrounded by dark, fine-grained soil. After landing an imaging panorama was started and a mechanical drilling arm reached to the surface and obtained a sample, which was deposited in a hermetically sealed chamber, maintained at 30 degrees C and a pressure of about .05 atmospheres. The composition of the sample, as determined by the X-ray flourescence spectrometer, put it in the class of weakly differentiated melanocratic alkaline gabbroids. The lander survived for 127 minutes (the planned design life was 32 minutes) in an environment with a temperature of 457 degrees C and a pressure of 84 Earth atmospheres. The bus carried instruments built by Austrian and French specialists, as well as Soviet scientific equipment.

1981 November 4 - . 05:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D-1. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D-1 311-02.
  • Venera 14 - . Payload: 4V-1 s/n 761. Mass: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 4V-1. USAF Sat Cat: 12938 . COSPAR: 1981-110A. Venera 13 and 14 were identical spacecraft built to take advantage of the 1981 Venus launch opportunity and launched 5 days apart. After launch and a four month cruise to Venus, the descent vehicle separated and plunged into the Venus atmosphere on 5 March 1982. As it flew by Venus the bus acted as a data relay for the brief life of the descent vehicle, and then continued on into a heliocentric orbit. The parachute of the descent vehicle opened after the lander reached subsonic speed. At an altitude of about 50 km the parachute was released and simple airbraking was used the rest of the way to the surface. Venera 14 landed about 950 km southwest of Venera 13 near the eastern flank of Phoebe Regio at 13 deg 15 min S by 310 E on a basaltic plain. After landing an imaging panorama was started It has been reported that the surface analysis arm accidentally landed on one of the ejected camera covers and therefore didn't send back any data on the Venusian soil. This is visible in photographs sent back. On the other hand, the official account very specifically states that the mechanical drilling arm obtained a sample, which was deposited in a hermetically sealed chamber, maintained at 30 degrees C and a pressure of about .05 atmospheres. The composition of the sample was determined by the X-ray flourescence spectrometer, showing it to be similar to oceanic tholeiitic basalts. The lander survived for 57 minutes (the planned design life was 32 minutes) in an environment with a temperature of 465 degrees C and a pressure of 94 Earth atmospheres.

1983 June 2 - . 02:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D-1. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D-1 321-01.
  • Venera 15 - . Payload: 4V-2 s/n 860. Mass: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 4V-2. USAF Sat Cat: 14104 . COSPAR: 1983-053A. Apogee: 65,000 km (40,000 mi). Perigee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Inclination: 87.5000 deg. Period: 1,440.00 min. Venera 15 was part of a two spacecraft mission (along with Venera 16) designed to use side-looking radar mappers to study the surface properties of Venus. The two spacecraft were inserted into Venus orbit a day apart with their orbital planes shifted by an angle of approximately 4 degrees relative to one another. This made it possible to reimage an area if necessary. Each spacecraft was in a nearly polar orbit with a periapsis at 62 N latitude. Together, the two spacecraft imaged the area from the north pole down to about 30 degrees N latitude over the 8 months of mapping operations. Data is for Venus orbit.

1983 June 7 - . 02:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/40. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D-1. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D-1 321-02.
  • Venera 16 - . Payload: 4V-2 s/n 861. Mass: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Venera 4V-2. USAF Sat Cat: 14107 . COSPAR: 1983-054A. Venus radar mapper; entered Venus orbit 10/14/83. Venera 16 was part of a two spacecraft mission (along with Venera 15) designed to use side-looking radar mappers to study the surface properties of Venus. The two spacecraft were inserted into Venus orbit a day apart with their orbital planes shifted by an angle of approximately 4 degrees relative to one another. This made it possible to reimage an area if necessary. Each spacecraft was in a nearly polar orbit with a periapsis at 62 N latitude. Together, the two spacecraft imaged the area from the north pole down to about 30 degrees N latitude over the 8 months of mapping operations.

1984 December 15 - . 09:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/39. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D-1. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D-1 329-01.
  • Vega 1 - . Payload: 5VK s/n 901. Mass: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Vega 5VK. USAF Sat Cat: 15432 . COSPAR: 1984-125A. Investigations of the planet Venus and Halley's Comet. The APV-V plasma antenna did not deploy until the first mid-course correction burn. Deployed lander and balloon at Venus on June 19 1985. Rendezvoused with comet Halley on March 6, 1986. Fitted with scientific apparatus and equipment built in the USSR, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, German Democratic Republic, Poland, France, Federal Republic of Germany and C zechoslovakia.

1984 December 21 - . 09:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC200/40. LV Family: Proton. Launch Vehicle: Proton-K/D-1. LV Configuration: Proton-K/D-1 325-02.
  • Vega 2 - . Payload: 5VK s/n 902. Mass: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Venera. Class: Venus. Type: Venus probe. Spacecraft: Vega 5VK. USAF Sat Cat: 15449 . COSPAR: 1984-128A. Investigations of the planet Venus and Halley's Comet. The APV-V plasma antenna did not deploy until the first mid-course correction burn. Deployed lander and balloon at Venus on June 14, 1985. The surface experiments of the lander failed to send back data because they were inadvertently switched on at an altitude of 20 km. Apparently high winds activated a G-force sensor that was to automatically switch on the surface package after the jolt of touchdown. The bus continued in heliocentric orbit and rendezvoused with comet Halley on March 9, 1986. The images of the comet were nearly lost when a television sensor failed shortly before the flyby. A back-up sensor was activated just in time. Fitted with scientific apparatus and equipment built in the USSR, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, German Democratic Republic, Poland, France, Federal Republic of Germany and C zechoslovakia.

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use