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Venera 08
Venera 8 Mission to Venus

Goals: Following the successful Venera 7, which found the atmospheric pressure at Venus' surface to be half of what that capsule had been designed to withstand, Venera 8 was designed to land a capsule safely on Venus with less of its mass devoted to resisting pressure and more to thermal protection, instruments and a stronger parachute.

Accomplishments: The Venera 8 lander transmitted data for more than 50 minutes after touching down on the planet's surface. During descent, it recorded a sharp change in illumination between 30 and 35 kilometers altitude. Temperature at the landing site was 470 give or take 8°C; pressure was 90 give or take 1.5 atmospheres (about 90 times Earth's atmospheric pressure at sea level). With the Sun at a low angle, the light level at the surface was found to be similar to that on Earth just before dawn, prompting the designers of Venera 9 and 10 to include floodlights. However, Venera 8's successors found noon-time conditions to be much brighter, similar to a dull, cloudy day on Earth.


Key Dates
27 Mar 1972:  Launch
22 Jul 1972:  Venus Landing (09:32 UT)
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Venera 08 Facts Venera 8 made the first successful landing on the day side of Venus.

Parachutes were tested in wind tunnels containing carbon dioxide heated to 500°C to simulate conditions on Venus.

Radar returns indicated loose surface material similar to terrestrial granite, a finding important to the design of future landers.
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Last Updated: 2 Dec 2010