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Solar System Exploration
Venera 16
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Venera 16
Venera 16 Mission to Venus

Goals: The twin Venera 15 and 16 orbiters were designed to make detailed radar maps of Venus' surface at a resolution of 1 to 2 km (or roughly one mile).

Accomplishments: The twin Soviet spacecraft flew in near-polar elliptical orbits and succeeded in mapping the top half of the northern atmosphere (from the north pole to 30°N latitude, about 115 million square kilometers or 71 million square miles) by the end of the main mission. An altimeter provided topographical data with a height resolution of 50 m (164 feet), and an East German instrument mapped surface temperature variations.

Key Dates
7 Jun 1983:  Launch
14 Oct 1983:  Venus Orbit Insertion (06:22 UT)
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Venera 16 Facts Veneras 15 and 16 mapped (right) half of Venus' northern hemisphere at better resolution than Pioneer Venus 1.

Data from Venera 15 and 16 was recorded on 600 km (about 400 miles) of tape, which two Soviet computers spent a year analyzing.

The twin Veneras were the only interplanetary missions launched in 1983.
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Last Updated: 2 Dec 2010