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Solar System Exploration
Venera 1
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Venera 01
Venera 1 Mission to Venus

Goals: The Soviet Union intended Venera 1 to crash into Venus.

Accomplishments: It succeeded in being the first Venus probe to leave Earth orbit, but contact was lost 7 days later. Since the Soviets were unable to command the spacecraft to perform a needed course correction, it is presumed to have flown by Venus at a distance of about 100,000 km (62,000 miles).

Key Dates
12 Feb 1961:  Launch
4 Mar 1961:  Contact Lost
19 May 1961 - 20 May 1961:  Venus Flyby
Status: Partial Success
Fast Facts
Venera 01 Facts The spacecraft is presumed to be first spacecraft to fly by Venus, though communication with Earth had been lost before it arrived.

The probe carried a Soviet pennant inside a pressurized sphere that was designed to float on Venusian oceans thought to exist at the time.

The spacecraft did return some scientific data on interplanetary space before contact was lost.
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Last Updated: 2 Dec 2010