On July 22, 1972, a Soviet spacecraft landed on Venus!
The Soviet space probe Venera 8 was the second spacecraft to successfully execute a soft landing on the planet’s surface. Venera 8 spent 117 days traveling to Venus and only survived for 50 minutes before the planet’s harsh atmosphere got the best of its hardware. But it did manage to accomplish plenty of science before dying in Venus.
During its descent, it collected and transmitted data about Venus’s thick and toxic atmosphere. This data helped scientists learn that Venus’s clouds hover at a very high altitude, and that the atmosphere is actually a lot clearer close to the surface.
History of NASA: $22.99 at Magazines Direct
Discover the story of how and why NASA was created, its greatest triumphs, darkest days, and of the times it exceeded all possible hopes. A tale of adventure, heroism and resourcefulness, learn of the space agency’s greatest achievements and how — over six decades — the organization has consistently and tirelessly devoted itself to its founding principle: that “activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all humankind”. View Deal
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