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Starting
from 1960s’ United States and the Soviet Union began to have probe missions to Venus.

The major Soviet series was named Venera and the American missions were named
Mariner. There are many Venus missions, including seven that analyzed rock
compositions. In general, intense pressure and hurricane-force winds destroy
all probes within an hour, but in 1982, a Venera probe went to surface and
survived 127 minutes and much of the information on Venus comes from the long
and intense efforts of the Soviets. Meariner 2 which passed 21581 miles was the
first-ever Soviet spacecraft confirmed the intensity of Venus’s surface
conditions and measured its magnetic field in 1961. Venera 4 was the first Soviet
probe successfully send back information about Venusian atmosphere in the
nighttime side of Venus in the height of 16 miles. It indicated that more than
90% of Venusian atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide and temperature and
pressure increased steadily as probe parachuted toward Venus’s surface, until
the temperature reached 262oC and 18 atmospheres. Venera 8 made the
first soft landing on the dayside of Venus in 1872 with measured temperature of
880oF, having achievement of measurement of wind velocity, light
intensity, surface radioactivity and pressure. Three year later, the next
series Venera 9 took pictures of Venus’s surface and made the first
measurements of the properties of the clouds, the gravitational field and wind
speed. Pioneer Venus 1 was an orbiter with the first radar, ultraviolet, and infrared
observation, its highly elliptical orbit brought it within 120 miles of the
planet’s surface. The relative recent Venus missions include MESSENGER, a NASA
robotic spacecraft which had two Venus flybys. Its second flyby of Venus on June
5 2007 at an altitude of 338 km flew with the largest velocity reduction of the
mission. This encounter to Venus using all equipment provided visible and
near-infrared imaging data, ultraviolet and X-ray spectrometry of the upper
atmosphere of Venus. Another latest mission Venus Express operated by European
Space Agency have several achievements such as first temperature map of
southern hemisphere, evidence of past oceans, presence of lightings, discovery
of huge double atmospheric vortex existed at south pole in Venus etc.

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