National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Missions
Vega 2
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Search all Missions Between:      and      Search
1950-1959 1960-1969 1970-1979 1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-2009 2010-2019 2020+
Vega 2
Vega 2 Mission to Venus Vega 2 Mission to Comets

Mission Type: Flyby, Lander
Launch Vehicle: 8K82K + Blok DM (Proton-K no. 325-02 / Blok DM no. 12L)
Launch Site: NIIP-5 / launch site 200P, Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), USSR
Spacecraft Mass: 4,920 kg
Spacecraft Instruments:
Lander: 1) Malakhit mass spectrometer; 2) Sigma-3 gas chromatograph; 3) VM-4 hygrometer; 4) GS-15-SCV gamma-ray spectrometer; 5) UV spectrometer; 6) BDRP-AM25 x-ray fluorescence spectrometer and drill; 7) ISAV nephelometer/scatterometer; 8) temperature and pressure sensors and 9) IFP aerosol analyzer
Balloon: 1) temperature and pressure sensors; 2) vertical wind anemometer; 3) nephelometer and 4) light level/lighting detector.
Bus: 1) imaging system; 2) infrared spectrometer; 3) ultraviolet, visible, infrared imaging spectrometer; 4) shield penetration detector; 5) dust detectors; 6) dust mass spectrometer; 7) neutral gas mass spectrometer; 8) APV-V plasma energy analyzer; 9) energetic-particle analyzer; 10) magnetometer and 11) wave and plasma analyzers
References:
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24, by Asif A. Siddiqi

National Space Science Data Center, http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Solar System Log by Andrew Wilson, published 1987 by Jane's Publishing Co. Ltd


Vega 2 was the sister spacecraft to Vega 1 and essentially performed a near-identical mission to its twin.

The main lander probe set down without problems at 03:00:50 UT on 15 June 1985 in the northern region of Aphrodite, about 1,500 kilometers southeast of
Vega. Landing coordinates were 6.45° south latitude and 181.08° longitude. The spacecraft transmitted from the surface for 57 minutes.

Unlike its twin, the Vega 2 lander was able to collect and investigate a soil sample; the experiment identified an anorthosite-troctolite rock - rarely found on Earth, but present in the lunar highlands. According to the lander's data, the area was probably the oldest explored by any Venera vehicle. The mass spectrometer did not return any data.

The balloon, released upon entry into the atmosphere, flew through the Venusian atmosphere, collecting data like its twin, and survived for 46.5 hours of data transmission.

After releasing its lander, the flyby probe continued on its flight to Comet Halley. The spacecraft initiated its encounter on 7 March 1986 by taking 100 photos of the
comet from a distance of 14 million kilometers. Vega 2's closest approach to Halley was at 07:20 UT two days later when the spacecraft was traveling at a speed of 76.8 kilometers per second (slightly lower than Vega 1's 79.2 kilometers per second).

During the encounter, Vega 2 took 700 images of the comet-of much better resolution than those from the spacecraft's twin, partly due to the presence of less dust outside of the coma during this transit.

Ironically, Vega 2 sustained an 80-percent power loss during the encounter (as compared to Vega 1's 40 percent). Seven instruments between the two spacecraft were partially damaged, although no instrument on both was incapacitated.

After further imaging sessions on 10 and 11 March 1986, Vega 2 finished its
primary mission and headed out into heliocentric orbit.

   

Key Dates
21 Dec 1984:  Launch (09:13:52 UT)
15 Jun 1985:  Venus Landing (03:00:50 UT)
7 Mar 1986 - 11 Mar 1986:  Comet Halley Flyby
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Vega 2 Facts Vega was a cooperative effort by the Soviet Union, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, France and West Germany.

Vega 2 was part of a fleet of international spacecraft sent to meet comet Halley (above) in 1986.

Vega 1 and 2 were identical spacecraft.
People Spotlight
Mihaly Horanyi Mihaly Horanyi
"I study cosmic dust, and dusty plasmas in space and in the laboratory." Read More...
Links
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 Writer: Autumn Burdick
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
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 15 Aug 2013