National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Venera 13
Missions to Venus
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Beyond Our Solar System Our Solar System Sun Mercury Venus Moon Earth Mars Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Asteroids Comets Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Kuiper Belt
Venera 13
Venera 13 Mission to Venus

Goals: Like previous Soviet Venus missions, Venera 13 and 14 were twin pairs and flyby spacecraft. The flyby craft was designed to relay transmissions from the landers in addition to studying Venus and interplanetary space. The landers carried advanced instruments to study Venus' atmosphere and soil.

Accomplishments: Venera 13's descent craft probed the atmosphere and then transmitted data from the surface for 127 minutes, succeeding in two experiments that had failed on the previous two missions. The lander took 360° panoramic pictures, the first color pictures transmitted from that planet. The series of eight photos showed a landscape of orange-brown rocks and loose soil, with soil being blown onto the lander at a rate suggesting a wind speed of 1 to 2 km/hr. The sky looked orange and the horizon appeared to be only about 100 meters (109 yards) away, possibly due to a mirage. In another first, the lander directly sampled and analyzed the nearby soil. The flyby spacecraft was later used in an engineering test for upcoming Halley's comet missions

Key Dates
30 Oct 1981:  Launch
1 Mar 1982:  Venus Flyby/Landing (03:57:21 UT)
10 Jun 1982:  Comet Halley Engine Test
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Venera 13 Facts Venera 13 too the first color photographs of Venus' surface (right).

The lander also made the first analysis of Venus' soil.

The Soviet Union's Venera 13 and 14 were the only interplanetary missions launched in 1981.
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 2 Dec 2010