On This Day in Space! July 22, 1972: Venera 8 spacecraft lands on Venus, ,

In Space by

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.

Catch up on our entire “On This Day In Space” series on YouTube with this playlist.

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Still not enough space? Don’t forget to check out our Space Image of the Day, and on the weekends our Best Space Photos and Top Space News Stories of the week.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

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