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

Mission Type: Orbiter
Launch Vehicle: 8K82K + Blok DM (Proton-K no. 321-02 / Blok DM no. 9L)
Launch Site: NIIP-5 / launch site 200P
Spacecraft Mass: 5,300 kg
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) Polyus-V side-looking radar; 2) Omega radiometric system; 3) Radio occultation experiment; 4) infrared spectrometer; 5) cosmic-ray detectors; and 6) solar wind detectors
Spacecraft Power: Solar panels and batteries
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24, by Asif A. Siddiqi

National Space Science Data Center,

Solar System Log by Andrew Wilson, published 1987 by Jane's Publishing Co. Ltd.

Venera 16 arrived at Venus at 06:22 UT on 14 October 1983 after en route course corrections on 15 June and 5 October 1983. It began its mapping operations six days later in its 24-hour-period near-polar orbit.

Mapping resolution of both Veneras 15 and 16 was comparable to that possible with the 300-meter dish at Arecibo in Puerto Rico, although the Soviet orbiters provided coverage over latitudes higher than 30° - too far north for Earthbased observations. Both spacecraft also used an East German infrared spectrometer to map the planet in infrared wavelengths in order to provide a heat atlas of the atmosphere.

Although the primary missions of both spacecraft were fulfilled by 10 July 1984, at least one of the pair was still operational in November 1984. If there were plans to change its orbit to provide coverage of lower latitudes, these were never carried out.

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