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History of Space Exploration Venera 9 Descent Craft

Venera 9 Descent Craft

Courtesy of NASA's National Space Science Data Center

Launch Date: 1975-06-08

Description

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 minutes 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 kilometers from the Venera 10 landing site. Preliminary results indicated: (A) clouds 30-40 kilometers thick with bases at 30-35 kilometers altitude, (B) atmospheric constituents including HCl, HF, Br, and I, (C) surface pressure about 90 (earth) atmospheres, (D) surface temperature 485 deg C, (E) light levels comparable to those at earth midlatitudes on a cloudy summer day, and (F) successful TV photography showing shadows, no apparent dust in the air, and a variety of 30-40 cm rocks which were not eroded.

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