And Now For Something Completely Different

Mars is a much more hospitable neighbor than Venus, so we’ve sent a lot more mission there. Pictures taken by rovers on the planet’s surface are not uncommon these days. Gentle Reader, when was the last time you saw a picture taken on the surface of Venus?This was taken by Venera 14, a robotic Soviet lander which parachuted and air-braked down through the thick Venusian atmosphere in March, 1982. The desolate landscape it saw included flat rocks, vast empty terrain, and a featureless sky above the landing site near Venus’ equator. The climate on Venus is very inhospitable with temperatures hot enough to melt lead (near 450 C) and pressures 75 times that on Earth. The instruments on Venera 14 lasted only about an hour.

Image Credit: Soviet Planetary Exploration Program

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