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1VA/1 Mission to Venus

Goals: This Soviet spacecraft was to be the world's first mission to Venus. Initially intended to transmit pictures of the planet before it impacted the surface, the mission was downgraded to simply send data about Venus' atmosphere as it plunged through the atmosphere.

Accomplishments: The spacecraft reached Earth orbit as planned, but the rocket that was to propel it on to Venus did not fire, leaving the probe stranded in Earth orbit. The probe and launch vehicle re-entered Earth's atmosphere after 22 days in orbit.

Key Dates
4 Feb 1961:  Launch
26 Feb 1961:  Re-entered Earth's Atmosphere
Status: Unsuccessful
Fast Facts
1VA/1 Facts This was the first mission of the Soviet Union's Venera series. Failed Soviet missions often were not named.

This was also the first attempt to launch for another planet from an intermediate Earth orbit.

The probe carried a small globe which held Soviet medallions and other commemorations of the mission.
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Last Updated: 23 Nov 2010