Exploring the Solar System

Exploring Mercury and Venus

What were the Venera spacecraft like?

The original Venera spacecraft weighed 1,400 pounds (630 kilograms). Its cylindrical body featured a domed top and solar-paneled sides. Attached to one side of the body was an umbrella-shaped radio antenna. The vessels used in successive Venera missions were larger and more complex. Venera 4 and later models consisted of a carrier vessel and a lander; the last two Venera craft each weighed 8,800 pounds (4,000 kilograms).


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