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Venera 12
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Venera 12
Venera 12 Mission to Venus

Goals: This mission, like its twin Venera 11, called for a flyby spacecraft and a lander to explore Venus' ionosphere, atmosphere and surface and the interplanetary environment.

Accomplishments: The flyby spacecraft sent back data on 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 during a parachute descent. It touched down about 800 km (about 500 miles) away from its twin. The probe survived for a record at the time of 110 minutes and sent back valuable information, although malfunctions caused its soil analysis instrument and imaging system to fail.

Key Dates
14 Sep 1978:  Launch
21 Dec 1978:  Venus Landing (03:30 UT)
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Venera 12 Facts Venera 12 was launched five days after Venera 11, but arrived at Venus four days sooner.

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

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