National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Venera 8
Missions to Venus
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Beyond Our Solar System Our Solar System Sun Mercury Venus Moon Earth Mars Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Dwarf Planets Asteroids Comets Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Kuiper Belt
Venera 08
Venera 8 Mission to Venus

Goals: Following the successful Venera 7, which found the atmospheric pressure at Venus' surface to be half of what that capsule had been designed to withstand, Venera 8 was designed to land a capsule safely on Venus with less of its mass devoted to resisting pressure and more to thermal protection, instruments and a stronger parachute.

Accomplishments: The Venera 8 lander transmitted data for more than 50 minutes after touching down on the planet's surface. During descent, it recorded a sharp change in illumination between 30 and 35 kilometers altitude. Temperature at the landing site was 470 give or take 8°C; pressure was 90 give or take 1.5 atmospheres (about 90 times Earth's atmospheric pressure at sea level). With the Sun at a low angle, the light level at the surface was found to be similar to that on Earth just before dawn, prompting the designers of Venera 9 and 10 to include floodlights. However, Venera 8's successors found noon-time conditions to be much brighter, similar to a dull, cloudy day on Earth.

Key Dates
27 Mar 1972:  Launch
22 Jul 1972:  Venus Landing (09:32 UT)
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Venera 08 Facts Venera 8 made the first successful landing on the day side of Venus.

Parachutes were tested in wind tunnels containing carbon dioxide heated to 500°C to simulate conditions on Venus.

Radar returns indicated loose surface material similar to terrestrial granite, a finding important to the design of future landers.
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 2 Dec 2010