Missions to Venus

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List of actual historical missions to Venus. Development unofficial names are listed in italics.



Mission (1960–1969) Launch Arrival Termination Objective Result
Soviet space programme Tyazhely Sputnik 4 February 1961 26 February 1961 Flyby Launch failure
Soviet space programme Venera 1 12 February 1961 26 February 1961 Flyby Failure (contact lost before the 19 May 1962 100,000 km flyby)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA Mariner 1 22 July 1962 22 July 1962 Flyby Launch failure
Soviet space programme Venera 2MV-1 No.1 25 August 1962 28 August 1962 Lander Launch failure
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA Mariner 2 27 August 1962 14 December 1962 3 January 1963 Flyby Success (measurements suggested cool clouds and extremely hot surface)
Soviet space programme Venera 2MV-1 No.2 1 September 1962 6 September 1962 Lander Launch failure
Soviet space programme Venera 2MV-2 No.1 12 September 1962 14 September 1962 Flyby Launch failure
Soviet space programme Kosmos 21 11 November 1962 14 November 1962 Flyby? Launch failure (unknown mission: technology test or fly-by)
Soviet space programme Venera 3MV-1 No.2 19 February 1964 Flyby Launch failure
Soviet space programme Kosmos 27 27 March 1964 Landing Launch failure
Soviet space programme Zond 1 2 April 1964 14 July 1964 14 May 1964 Lander Failure (contact lost before a 100,000 km flyby)
Soviet space programme Venera 2 12 November 1965 27 February 1966 Lander Failure (contact lost before a 24,000 km flyby)
Soviet space programme Venera 3 16 November 1965 1 March 1966 Lander Failure (contact lost before the landing)
Soviet space programme Kosmos 96 23 November 1965 Flyby Failure (did not leave Earth orbit)
Soviet space programme Venera 4 12 June 1967 18 October 1967 18 October 1967 Lander Success (first chemical analysis of the Venusian atmosphere, measurements proved that Venus was extremely hot and that the atmosphere was far denser than expected)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA Mariner 5 14 June 1967 19 October 1967 November 1967 Flyby Success (radio occultation atmospheric study, 3,990 km flyby)
Soviet space programme Kosmos 167 17 June 1967 Lander Failure (failed in Earth orbit)
Soviet space programme Venera 5 5 January 1969 16 May 1969 16 May 1969 Atmospheric probe Success (with knowledge about atmosphere gathered by Venera 4 its descent was optimised to analyze the atmosphere further deeper)
Soviet space programme Venera 6 10 January 1969 17 May 1969 17 May 1969 Atmospheric probe Success
Mission (1970–1979) Launch Arrival Termination Objective Result
Soviet space programme Venera 7 17 August 1970 15 December 1970 15 December 1970 Lander Success (first man-made spacecraft to successfully land on another planet and to transmit data from there back to Earth)
Soviet space programme Kosmos 359 22 August 1970 Lander Failure
Soviet space programme Venera 8 27 March 1972 22 July 1972 22 July 1972 Lander Success
Soviet space programme Kosmos 482 31 March 1972 Lander Failure
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA Mariner 10 3 November 1973 5 February 1974 24 March 1975 Flyby Success (near-ultraviolet images of atmosphere shown unprecedented detail, 5,768 km flyby then continued towards Mercury)
Soviet space programme Venera 9 8 June 1975 20 October 1975 ~December 25, 1975? Orbiter Success (explored cloud layers and atmospheric parameters)
22 October 1975 22 October 1975 Lander Success (first images from the surface of another planet)
Soviet space programme Venera 10 14 June 1975 23 October 1975 Orbiter Success
25 October 1975 25 October 1975 Lander Success
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA Pioneer Venus Orbiter 20 March 1978 4 December 1978 August 1992 Orbiter Success (over thirteen years studying the atmosphere and mapping the surface with S-band radar, conducted joint mapping with the 1990 Magellan probe)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA Pioneer Venus Multiprobe 8 August 1978 9 December 1978 9 December 1978 Bus Success
Large probe Success
North probe Success
Night probe Success
Day probe Success (continued to send radio signals back after impact, for over an hour)
Soviet space programme Venera 11 9 September 1978 25 December 1978 February 1980 Flyby Success (as did Venera 12 found evidence of lightnings)
25 December 1978 25 December 1978 Lander Partial success (failed to deploy some instruments)
Soviet space programme Venera 12 14 September 1978 19 December 1978 April 1980 Flyby Success
21 December 1978 21 December 1978 Lander Partial success (failed to deploy some instruments)
Mission (1980–1989) Launch Arrival Termination Objective Result
Soviet space programme Venera 13 30 October 1981 1 March 1982 Flyby Success
1 March 1982 1 March 1982 Lander Success (first colour images from surface and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry soil characterisation)
Soviet space programme Venera 14 4 November 1981 Flyby Success
5 March 1982 5 March 1982 Lander Success
Soviet space programme Venera 15 2 June 1983 10 October 1983 ~July 1984 Orbiter Success (synthetic aperture radar on 15 and 16 probes allowed to map 25% of surface)
Soviet space programme Venera 16 7 June 1983 11 October 1983 ~July 1984 Orbiter Success
Soviet space programme Vega 1 15 December 1984 11 June 1985 30 January 1987 Flyby Success (intercepted the Halley comet next year)
11 June 1985 Lander Failed (surface experiments were inadvertently activated at 20 km from the surface)
13 June 1985 Balloon Success (first balloon in another planet, flew al least 11,600 km)
Soviet space programme Vega 2 20 December 1984 15 June 1985 24 March 1987 Flyby Success (intercepted the Halley comet next year)
15 June 1985 Lander Success
17 June 1985 Balloon Success (flew al least 11,100 km)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA Magellan 4 May 1989 10 August 1990 12 October 1994 Orbiter Success (provided high-resolution gravimetric data for 94% of the planet, Synthetic Aperture Radar generated a high resolution map of 98% of the surface)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA Galileo 18 October 1989 10 February 1990 21 September 2003 Flyby Success (took some data on its route to Jupiter, 16,106 km maximum approach)
Mission (2000–2009) Launch Arrival Termination Objective Result
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA Cassini 1 June 2004 26 April 1998 and 24 June 1999 ongoing 2 Flybys Success (radio frequency observations on its route to Saturn shown no signs of lightnings in Venus)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA MESSENGER 31 August 2004 24 October 2006 and 5 June 2007 ongoing 2 Flybys Success (very close second flyby at 338 km in which visible, near-infrared, ultraviolet and X-ray spectrometry of the upper atmosphere was made simultaneously with the Venus Express probe, no observations in first flyby)
European Space Agency Venus Express 9 November 2005 11 April 2006 ongoing Orbiter Success (detailed long term observation of the Venusian atmosphere)
Mission (2010–present) Launch Arrival Termination Objective Result
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Akatsuki 20 May 2010 ongoing Orbiter Failure (orbital insertion maneuver failed in 2010, will be tried again in 2016)

Future missions[edit]

Name Estimated launch Elements Notes
European Space Agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency BepiColombo July 2014 Flyby Planned Mercury orbiter.
Indian Space Research Organisation Venus Orbiter Mission May 20, 2015 Orbiter Planned Venus Orbiter.
Russian Federal Space Agency Venera-D 2016 Orbiter To sense composition of the planet's atmosphere and its circulation patterns
Balloons Two balloons to sense acoustic and electrical activities of atmosphere
Microprobes Up to four atmospheric sensing probes launched from the balloons
Lander Designed for one-hour lifespan after touchdown in Tessera