The Soviet Union’s Venera Venus missions (slideshow)

Of the 30 space missions to successfully fly by or orbit Venus to date, more than one-third were part of the former Soviet Union’s Venera series of robotic probes.

Launched between 1961 and 1983, the Venera (or “Venus” in Russian”) missions were focused on studying the second planet from our sun. Of the 28 spacecraft launched, 13 entered the Venusian atmosphere and eight successfully touched down on the surface.

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