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Pioneer Venus 1
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Pioneer Venus 01
Pioneer Venus 1 Mission to Comets Pioneer Venus 1 Mission to Venus

Goals: While making radar maps of Venus on its primary mission, Pioneer Venus 1 was in a unique position to observe comet Halley as it returned to the inner solar system.

Accomplishments: During this bonus science opportunity, Pioneer Venus 1 used its ultraviolet spectrometer to study comet Halley as the comet became unobservable from Earth.


Key Dates
20 May 1978:  Launch
4 Dec 1978:  Venus Orbit Insertion
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Pioneer Venus 01 Facts Pioneer Venus 1 was the first spacecraft to map the surface of Venus (right).

Though it found Venus to be generally smoother than Earth, it found a mountain 2 km (about one mile) higher than Mt. Everest and a canyon about 1.1 km (about 2/3 of a mile) deeper than the Grand Canyon.

The International Astronomical Union named almost all of the features discovered by Pioneer Venus 1 and subsequent missions after historical or mythological women.
People Spotlight
Charles Hall Charles Hall
"Charlie Hall's Pioneer 10 craft may be billions of miles from Earth, but his spirit will always be with us at NASA." Read More...
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Last Updated: 15 Aug 2013