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Venera 11
Venera 11 Mission to Venus

Goals: This mission, like its twin Venera 12, called for a flyby spacecraft and a lander to explore Venus' ionosphere, atmosphere and surface and the interplanetary environment.

Accomplishments: The flyby craft studied the solar wind, gamma-ray bursts, ultraviolet radiation, and Venus' ionosphere. It passed the planet at a distance of about 35,000 km (about 22,000 miles). The lander probed Venus' atmosphere as it descended and then transmitted data from the surface for 95 minutes. Its camera system and soil-analysis experiment failed, but the mission did report evidence of lightning and thunder, carbon monoxide at low altitudes, and data on isotopes of argon that prompted scientists to question the theory that the original atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars were the result of outgassing from volcanoes.

Key Dates
9 Sep 1978:  Launch (03:25:39 UT)
25 Dec 1978:  Venus Landing (03:24 UT)
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Venera 11 Facts Venera 11 was launched first, but Venera 12 arrived at Venus four days sooner.

Engineers chose to use flyby spacecraft instead of orbiters because flyby spacecraft returned data from the landers faster.

The twin Veneras were the only Soviet interplanetary missions launched in 1978.
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Last Updated: 2 Dec 2010