COSMIC SECRETS
The Enigmas on Venus
Venera 9
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The surface of Venus from the Venera 9 Lander
5:13 UT with the sun near zenith on 22 October 1975
{Click on image to enlarge More Info)

On October 20, 1975, this spacecraft was separated from the Orbiter, and landing was made with the sun near zenith at 0513 UT on October 22. A system of circulating fluid was used to distribute the heat load. This system, plus precooling prior to entry, permitted operation of the spacecraft for 53 min after landing. During descent, heat dissipation and deceleration were accomplished sequentially by protective hemispheric shells, three parachutes, a disk-shaped drag brake, and a compressible, metal, doughnut-shaped, landing cushion. The landing was about 2,200 km from the Venera 10 landing site. Preliminary results indicated: (A) clouds 30-40 km thick with bases at 30-35 km altitude, (B) atmospheric constituents including HCl, HF, Br, and I, (C) surface pressure about 90 (earth) atmospheres, (D) surface temperature 485 deg C, (E) light levels comparable to those at earth midlatitudes on a cloudy summer day, and (F) successful TV photography showing shadows, no apparent dust in the air, and a variety of 30-40 cm rocks which were not eroded.

Image Credits... All images on this page  posted with permission, copyright 2003 Don P. Mitchell. All rights reserved.
Hardcopy images can be ordered through the NSSDC Request Office (request@nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov)

Authors/Curators:

Dave Williams, dave.williams@gsfc.nasa.gov, (301) 286-1258
Code 690.1, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

Original raw 6-bit telemetry {Click on image to enlarge More Info)


Corrected Image {Click on image to enlarge More Info)


Processed Final Image {Click on image to enlarge More Info)


Venera 9 and 10 Descent Craft
Venera 10
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The surface of Venus from the Venera 10 Lander
5:17 UT on 25 October 1975 
{Click on image to enlarge More Info)

Soviet space images are sometimes printed in astonishingly degraded forms. This is partially the result of generation loss, and partly an effect of cold-war-era propaganda. Sometimes the only available glimpse of a device or an image from space is a photocopy from a Russian journal. The image above is the version released to the American public via NASA. This image is STILL on the NASA website about the Venera 10 Mission at NSSD

On October 23, 1975, this spacecraft was separated from the Orbiter, and landing was made with the sun near zenith, at 0517 UT, on October 25. A system of circulating fluid was used to distribute the heat load. This system, plus precooling prior to entry, permitted operation of the spacecraft for 65 min after landing. During descent, heat dissipation and deceleration were accomplished sequentially by protective hemispheric shells, three parachutes, a disk-shaped drag brake, and a compressible, metal, doughnut-shaped, landing cushion. The landing was about 2,200 km distant from Venera 9. Preliminary results provided: (A) profile of altitude (km)/pressure (earth atmospheres)/temperature (deg C) of 42/3.3/158, 15/37/363, and 0/92/465, (B) successful TV photography showing large pancake rocks with lava or other weathered rocks in between, and (C) surface wind speed of 3.5 m/s.
 

Original raw 6-bit telemetry {Click on image to enlarge More Info)


Corrected Image {Click on image to enlarge More Info)


Processed Final Image {Click on image to enlarge More Info)
Venera 13
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Color image of the surface of Venus from the Venera 13 Lander
Venera 13 survived on the surface for 2 hours, 7 minutes, 
long enough to obtain 14 images on 1 March, 1982
{Click on image to enlarge More Info)

So Far we have only been able to find 2 of the 14 images...

Venera 13 and 14 were identical spacecraft built to take advantage of the 1981 Venus launch opportunity and launched 5 days apart. The Venera 13 mission consisted of a bus (81-106A) and an attached descent craft (81-106D). The Venera 13 descent craft/lander was a hermetically sealed pressure vessel, which contained most of the instrumentation and electronics, mounted on a ring-shaped landing platform and topped by an antenna. The design was similar to the earlier Venera 9-12 landers. It carried instruments to take chemical and isotopic measurements, monitor the spectrum of scattered sunlight, and record electric discharges during its descent phase through the Venusian atmosphere. The spacecraft utilized a camera system, an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, a screw drill and surface sampler, a dynamic penetrometer, and a seismometer to conduct investigations on the surface.

After launch and a four month cruise to Venus, the descent vehicle separated from the bus and plunged into the Venus atmosphere on 1 March 1982. After entering the atmosphere a parachute was deployed. At an altitude of 47 km the parachute was released and simple airbraking was used the rest of the way to the surface. Venera 13 landed about 950 km northeast of Venera 14 at 7 deg 30 min S, 303 E, just east of the eastern extension of an elevated region known as Phoebe Regio. The area was composed of bedrock outcrops surrounded by dark, fine-grained soil. After landing an imaging panorama was started and a mechanical drilling arm reached to the surface and obtained a sample, which was deposited in a hermetically sealed chamber, maintained at 30 degrees C and a pressure of about .05 atmospheres. The composition of the sample determined by the X-ray flourescence spectrometer put it in the class of weakly differentiated melanocratic alkaline gabbroids. The lander survived for 127 minutes (the planned design life was 32 minutes) in an environment with a temperature of 457 degrees C and a pressure of 84 Earth atmospheres. The descent vehicle transmitted data to the bus, which acted as a data relay as it flew by Venus. 

These pictures were taken from its two opposite-facing cameras. 
The top image is a black and white frame of the color image vg261_262
{Click on image to enlarge More Info)


Venera 13 Descent Craft
Venera 14
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Venera 14 Lander images of the surface of Venus at 13 S, 310 E on 5 March 1982
Venera 14 Lander, YG06848
{Click on image to enlarge More Info)
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