Venera 9

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Venera_9_lander.jpg
Venera 9 lander
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Venera_9_panorama.gif
Surface of Venus taken by Venera 9

Venera 9 (Russian: Венера-9) was a USSR unmanned space mission to Venus. It consisted of an orbiter and a lander. It launched on June 8, 1975 02:38:00 UTC. 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.

Venera 9 measured clouds that were 30-40 km thick with bases at 30-35 km altitude. It also measured atmospheric chemicals including hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, bromine, and iodine. Other measurements included surface pressure of about 90 atmospheres, temperature of 485 degrees C, and surface light levels comparable to those at Earth midlatitudes on a cloudy summer day. Venera 9 was the first probe to send back black and white television pictures from the Venusian surface showing shadows, no apparent dust in the air, and a variety of 30-40 cm rocks which were not eroded. Planned 360 degree panoramic pictures could not be taken because one of two camera lens covers failed to come off, limiting pictures to 180 degrees. This failure reoccurred on Venera 10.

Previous Mission:
Venera 8
Venera program Next Mission:
Venera 10
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