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Space Station Info :: Nine Planet Solar System :: Space Venus :: Pioneer Venus

Pioneer Venus

NASA sent two Pioneer spacecraft to Venus in the year 1978. The Pioneer mission consisted of two components, launched separately: an Orbiter and a Multiprobe. The Pioneer Venus Multiprobe carried one large and three small atmospheric probes. The large probe was released on November 16, 1978 and the three small probes on November 20. All four probes entered the Venus atmosphere on December 9, followed by the delivery vehicle.

Pioneer Venus

Although not predictable to survive the descent through the atmosphere, one probe continued to function for 45 minutes after reaching the surface. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter was inserted into an elliptical orbit around Venus on December 4, 1978. It carried 17 experiments and operated until the fuel used to sustain its orbit was exhausted and atmospheric entry destroyed the spacecraft in August 1992.

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