List of Space Missions to Venus

For centuries, we have relied on studying Venus using telescopes. However, scientists decided to take the exploration closer to the planet. As space agencies commenced their space exploration in the mid-20th century, Venus was one of the hotspot destinations. The idea of exploring Venus became popular in the 1960s. The Soviet Union (USSR) and NASA were the top space agencies that worked extra hard to study Venus and see what the terrestrial planet held for humanity. Over the past few years, space agencies have sent the following space missions to Venus.

Space Missions to Venus in the 1960s

On February 4th, 1961, The Soviet Union launched the first spacecraft named Tyazhely Sputnik to Venus. The sole aim of the mission is to collide the spacecraft with Venus. However, this impactor space mission failed during its launch. The Tyazhely Sputnik was placed carefully atop the Molniya rocket. But it experienced power transformer failure and the upper stage of the rocket failed to ignite. This led to the failure of the mission.

On February 12th, 1961, The Soviet Union launched the Venera 1 spacecraft using the Molniya rocket. The goal of this space mission is to crash the spacecraft on Venus. However, the spacecraft experienced massive failure as it failed to communicate properly and return realistic data. On May 19th, 1961, Venera 1 reached within 100,000 km of Venus. The spacecraft even entered a heliocentric orbit. Yet, it fails to return any data to earth.

On July 22nd, 1962, NASA launched Mariner 1 to conduct a flyby mission across Venus. The spacecraft was launched atop Atlas-LV3 Agena 3, and NASA intended to reach Venus through this launch. However, the spacecraft experienced launch failure as it failed to orbit the earth. Mariner 1 was damaged due to guidance failure.

On August 25th, 1962, The Soviet Union launched Venera 2MV-1 NO 1 atop the Molniya space vehicle. The goal of the Venus program is to land the Venera 2MV Spacecraft on Venus. During the launch, the upper stage was cut off prematurely as the ullage motor began to malfunction. This incident made the Mission experience a launch failure.

On August 27th, 1962, NASA launched the Mariner 2 spacecraft atop Atlas-LV3 Agena 3 rocket. The spacecraft completed its successful flyby mission across Venus on December 14, 1962. This mission made NASA, the first space agency, successfully send a spacecraft to Venus and return data about the planet to Earth. 

On September 12th, 1962, The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik 21 spacecraft atop the Molniya space rocket to conduct a flyby mission around Venus. However, the spacecraft experienced a launch failure as the fourth stage shut down a few seconds after the launch.

On February 19th, 1964, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 1964A Spacecraft atop the Molniya-M rocket to conduct a unique flyby mission across Venus. But the rocket launch failed as the third stage oxidizer began to leak during this launch. This leakage made the propellant freeze and crack immediately.

On March 27th, 1964, the Soviet Union launched the Kosmos 27 spacecraft atop a Molniya rocket to conduct a flyby/landing mission on Venus. Upon the effort deployed to ensure the success of this mission, the upper stage of the spacecraft still failed due to attitude control failure. This resulted in a launch failure.

On April 2nd, 1964, The Soviet Union launched Zond 1 atop Molniya-M to conduct a flyby/landing on Venus. The spacecraft successfully reached orbit and commenced its journey toward the terrestrial planet. However, it experienced electronics failure before beginning the flyby mission. As a result of this electronic failure, the spacecraft lost communication with the mission control center on Earth. Despite losing communication, Zond 1 still succeeded in flying across Venus on July 14th, 1964. This space mission could have become the Soviet Union’s first successful mission to Venus. But due to electronic failure encountered by the spacecraft, this mission was not successful.

On November 12th, 1965, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 2 Spacecraft atop a Molniya-M rocket. The goal of this mission is to conduct only a flyby mission around Venus. The launch was successful and the Venera 2 Spacecraft flew across Venus on February 27th, 1966. But after conducting a successful flyby mission, the spacecraft was not able to return data to earth. Venera 2 inability to return data to earth made this space mission to be considered a failure.

On November 16, 1965, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 3 spacecraft atop the Molniya-M rocket to conduct a lander mission on Venus. But the spacecraft lost communication with earth after it successfully entered Venus’s atmosphere on March 1st, 1966. Keep in mind that this mission is the first atmospheric entry we have made to another planet. Even thoughVenera 3 failed to return data to earth, it succeeded in creating a new record for humanity.

On November 23rd, 1965, The Soviet Union launched the Kosmos 96 atop Molniya-M on a Flyby mission to Venus. However, the third stage combustion chamber of the spacecraft exploded causing a loss of control. This launch failure also made the upper stage of the rocket failed to ignite.

On June 12th, 1967, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 4 spacecraft atop the Molniya-M. The goal of this mission is to explore the Venus atmosphere and return data to earth. The spacecraft succeeded in reaching Venus and made an entry into the planet’s atmosphere on October 18th, 1967. 

During this entry, the spacecraft returned atmospheric data to Earth. This is the Soviet Union’s first successful mission to Venus. It also remained the first successful atmospheric entry to the terrestrial planet. Keep in mind that the Soviet Union has relied on deploying the services of PAO S. 

P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (OKB-1) for its past missions to Venus. OKB-1 is a Russian company that manufactures spacecraft, space stations, and ballistic missile components. But during the Venera 4 mission to Venus, the Soviet Union decided to deploy the services of NPO Lavochkin for the success of this mission. 

Lavochkin is a Russian aerospace company that played a huge role in the space programs of the Soviet Union. After the company helped the space agency conduct the first successful atmospheric mission to Venus, the Soviet Union began to see its potential for exploring the planet more.

 On June 14, 1967, NASA launched the Mariner 5 atop Atlas SLV-3 Agena-D to conduct a flyby mission to Venus. 

The spacecraft successfully reached Venus and conducted the flyby mission on October 19th, 1967. Keep in mind that NASA has not launched another spacecraft to Venus after the success of Mariner 2 on December 14th, 1962. The success of the Mariner 5 spacecraft on Venus gave NASA great hope for its future missions to Venus.

On June 17th, 1967, the Soviet Union deployed the services of Lavochkin to launch the Kosmos167 spacecraft atop Molniya-M to Venus. However, the spacecraft encountered a launch failure as its upper stage failed to ignite. This launch failure occurred as the turbopump cooling began to malfunction.

On January 5th, 1969, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 5 spacecraft atop the Molniya-M space vehicle to conduct an atmospheric mission on Venus. The space agency deployed the services of Lavochkin for this launch. The spacecraft succeeded in reaching Venus and entered the planet’s atmosphere on May 16th, 1969. The spacecraft reached active for about 53 minutes and returned data to earth before it stopped operation.

On January 10th, 1969, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 6 spacecraft atop the Molniya-M rocket to conduct an atmospheric mission on Venus. The spacecraft succeeded in entering Venus’s atmosphere on May 17th, 1969. It operated for only 51 minutes before failure. This mission is the third successful atmospheric mission conducted by the Soviet Union on Venus.

Space Missions to Venus in the 1970s

On August 17th, 1970, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 7 spacecraft atop the Molniya spacecraft. The goal of this mission is to conduct a Lander mission on the terrestrial planet. On December 15th, 1970, the Venera 7 spacecraft landed on Venus at 05:37:10 UTC. The spacecraft rolled over immediately and landed on the planet. It returned limited data about the planet to earth before it stopped operation. Keep in mind that this mission has remained the first successful landing on another planet. This mission was labeled a partial success as the spacecraft quits its operation after staying active for 23 minutes.

On August 22nd, 1970, the Soviet Union launched the Kosmos 359 spacecraft atop the Molniya-M rocket intending to conduct a lander mission on the planet. However, the spacecraft encountered a launch failure, thereby making this mission fail.

On March 27th, 1972, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 8 spacecraft atop Molniya-M to Venus. The goal of this mission is to land the spacecraft on the terrestrial planet. On July 22nd, 1972, at 09:32 UTC, the spacecraft successfully landed on Venus. Keep in mind that this was the first fully successful landing accomplished by humans on another planet.

On March 31st, 1972, the Soviet Union intended to launch the Kosmos 482 atop Molniya-M. This mission aimed to conduct a Lander mission on Venue. However, the spacecraft experienced launch failure. Due to this failure, the Kosmos 482 spacecraft failed to reach its goals.  

On November 3rd, 1973, NASA launched the Mariner 10 atop Atlas SLV-3D Centaur-D1A on a flyby mission to Venus. On February 4th, 1974, Mariner 10 successfully made the closet movement towards Venus. During this mission, the spacecraft studied Venus closely, after which it used gravity assist to cross the orbit of Mercury on March 29th, 1974. The spacecraft repeated the cross over again on September 21st, 1974.

On June 8th, 1975, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 9 atop a Proton-K/D rocket on an Orbiter/Lander mission to Venus. The spacecraft entered Venus orbit on October 20th, 1975, while the lander landed on the planet’s surface on October 22nd, 1975. Keep in mind that Venera 9 is the first orbiter of Venus. The spacecraft also captured the first images of Venus’s surface. Scientists were amazed by this milestone attained by Venera 9.

On June 14th, 1975, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 10 spacecraft to conduct an Orbiter/Lander mission on Venus. This spacecraft was launched atop the Proton-K/D rocket. Venera 10 entered Venus orbit on October 23rd, 1975 while the lander landed on the planet’s surface on October 25th, 1975.

On September 9th, 1978, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 11 atop Proton-K/D. The goal of this mission is to conduct a flyby/lander mission on Venus. The spacecraft conducted the flyby mission on December 25th, 1978, while the lander landed on Venus that same day at 03:24 UTC. However, some instruments fail to operate actively on the lander. This failure decreased the lander’s performance. However, the mission is still considered a success.

On September 14th, 1978, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 12 spacecraft atop Proton-K/D-1 to conduct a Flyby/Lander mission on Venus. The spacecraft arrived in Venus orbit on December 19th, 1978, and its lander landed on the planet on December 21st, 1978 at 03:20 UTC. However, the cameras attached to the lander failed to operate on Venus.

On May 20th, 1978, NASA launched the Pioneer Venus 1 spacecraft atop Atlas SLV-3D Centaur-D1AR to venus. The goal of this mission is to send the Orbiter to orbit Venus. On December 4th, 1978, the spacecraft entered Venus orbit and operated around the planet for nearly 14 years before it decayed on October 22nd, 1992.

On August 8th, 1978, NASA launched the Pioneer Venus 2 to study Venus’s atmosphere. The spacecraft was launched atop Atlas SLV-3D Centaur-D1AR and it entered Venus’s atmosphere on December 9th, 1978. Keep in mind that the Pioneer Venus 2 was launched with Multiple probes of five spacecraft. One of these spacecraft transmitted data shortly after it reached Venus’s surface.

Space Missions to Venus in the 1980s

On October 30th, 1981, the Soviet Union launched Venera 13, to conduct a Flyby/Lander mission on Venus. The spacecraft was launched atop Proton-K/D-1 and its lander landed on Venus on March 1st, 1982 at 03:20 UTC. The lander successfully recorded the sound of Venus and returned the data to earth. Keep in mind that the sound of venus recorded by this lander was the first sound we received from another planet.

On November 4th, 1981, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 14 to conduct a Fly/Lander mission on Venus. The spacecraft was launched atop a Proton-K/D-1 rocket and it successfully landed on Venus on March 5th, 1982.

On June 2nd, 1983, the Soviet Union launched Venera 15 to conduct an Orbiter mission around Venus. The space probe was launched atop Proton-K/D-1 and it entered Venus orbit on October 10th, 1983. Venera 15 operated around Venus until July 1984, when the spacecraft stopped returning data to earth.

On June 7th, 1983, the Soviet Union launched the Venera 16 spacecraft to conduct an orbiter mission around venus. The spacecraft was launched atop Proton-K/D-1 and it reached Venus Orbite on October 11th, 1983. This mission was recorded as a success, as the spacecraft remained active until July 1984.

On December 15th, 1984, the Soviet Union launched the Vega 1 space probe to conduct three different missions on Venus, including a Flyby, Atmospheric, and Lander missions. The space probe successfully landed on Venus on June 11th, 1985, and it deployed its atmospheric probe during this entry. However, Vega 1 atmospheric probe only operated for two days. After it successfully landed on Venus, the space probe explored Comet 1P/Halley and transmitted several images from the comet’s gas cloud.

On December 21st, 1984, Vega 2 space probe was launched to Venus to conduct a Flyby, Atmospheric, and Lander mission on Venus. The spacecraft landed on June 15th, 1985, while its main bus proceeded to explore Comet 1P/Halley.

On May 4th, 1989, NASA launched Magellan Spacecraft to conduct an Orbiter mission around Venus. The spacecraft was launched atop Space Shuttle Atlantis. Magellan successfully reached Venus on October 10th, 1990, and began its operation. However, it was deorbited on October 13th, 1994.

On October 18th, 1989, NASA launched the Galileo space probe on a Gravity assist mission at Venus. The spacecraft was launched atop Space Shuttle Atlantis and it made its first flyby mission around Venus on February 10th, 1990 before heading to Jupiter. The spacecraft later arrived at Jupiter on December 7th, 1995. Upon arrival, the spacecraft began to orbit the planet and its moons.

Space missions to Venus in the 1990s

On October 15th, 1997, the Cassini space probe was launched atop the Titan IV (401) B rocket to study Saturn. The space probe flew past Venus on April 26th, 1998 at a distance of 176 miles (284 kilometers). Cassini flew past Venus for a gravity assist before proceeding on its journey to Jupiter. The space probe arrived in Jupiter IN 2000. It explored the planet for six months before heading toward Saturn. Cassini finally reached Saturn in 2004, and explored the planet for more than a decade, before it finally crashed into Saturn.

Space Missions to Venus in the 2000s

On August 3rd, 2004, NASA launched the Messenger space probe to study Mercury. The space probe was launched atop the Delta II 7825H rocket. The Messenger space probe flew past Venus on October 24th, 2006, and conducted a gravity assist on the planet, before proceeding on its journey to Mercury on June 5th, 2007. During this gravity assist mission, Messenger moved closest to Venus and studied the planet better.

On November 9th, 2005, ESA launched the VenusExpress space probe atop the Soyuz-FG/Fregat space vehicle. The primary aim of this mission is to conduct an Orbiter mission on Venus. The spacecraft successfully entered Venus orbit on April 11th, 2006. It returned several data to earth before cutting off communication on November 28th, 2014.

Space Mission to Venus in the 2010s

On May 20th, 2010, JAXA launched the Akatsuki spacecraft atop the H-IIA 202. The goal of this mission is to conduct an Orbiter Operational mission on Venus. The spacecraft successfully flew past Venus on December 6th, 2010. However, it failed to enter the Planet’s orbit. On December 7th, 2015, the space agency made another attempt using the Akatsuki spacecraft. They successfully entered Venus Orbit on this second attempt.

On May 20th, 2010, JAXA launched the IKAROS space probe atop H-IIA 202. The goal of this mission is to conduct a flyby mission on Venus. On December 8th, 2010, the IKAROS spacecraft successfully flew past Venus. However, the spacecraft failed to make any observations during the flyby mission.

On May 20th, 2010, the UNISEC launched the Shin’en to conduct a Flyby mission on Venus. The spacecraft was launched atop the H-IIA 202. The spacecraft flew past Venus in December 2010. However, it failed to establish communication with earth.

On August 12th, 2018, NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe to explore the Sun. The spacecraft was launched atop the Delta IV Heavy/Star 48BV. On October 10th, 2018, the spacecraft conducted a Gravity assist mission before proceeding to the Sun on December 26th, 2019. The spacecraft is still exploring the sun, and we hope to receive more data from it anytime soon.

On October 20th, 2018, ESA launched the BepiColombo space probe to explore Mercury. The spacecraft was launched atop the Ariane 5 ECA. On October 15th, 2020, the space probe flew past Venus and conducted a gravity assist on the planet. After the gravity assist, it headed toward Mercury on August 11th, 2021.

Space Missions to Venus in the 2020s

On February 10th, 2020, ESA launched the Solar Orbiter atop the Atlas V 411 to explore the sun. The space probe flew past Venus on December 27th, 2020, and conducted a gravity assist during the flyby mission before heading toward the Sun.

Future Space Missions to Venus 

Several space agencies are preparing for more space missions to Venus in the coming years. I will be writing about these future space missions to Venus soon.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading the list of space missions to Venus. Your ability to read about Venus shows that you are interested in learning more about the solar system, interstellar space, and the Universe. You will feed your curiosity with the premium content you will see on futurespaceworld.com. Which of these space missions to Venus captures your interest the most?

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