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First Look: Venus
First Look: Venus (click to enlarge)

First Look: Venus
Date: 22 Oct 1975

The Soviet Union's Venera 9 lander snapped this photo of Venus during its 53-minute mission on the planet's hellish surface. It is one of the first photos sent back from the surface of another planet.

The image is of the surface of Venus at about 32 S, 291 E. The lander touched down at 5:13 UT (with the sun near zenith) on 22 October 1975 and operated for 53 minutes, allowing return of this single image.

The white object at the bottom of the image is part of the lander. The distortion is caused by the Venera imaging system. Angular and partly weathered rocks, about 30 to 40 cm across, dominate the landscape, many partly buried in soil. The horizon is visible in the upper left and right corners.

Credit: NSSDC Photo Gallery

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