15 December 1970

Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 successfully lands on Venus. It is the first successful soft landing on another planet.

Venera 7 was a Soviet spacecraft that achieved a significant milestone in space exploration by becoming the first spacecraft to successfully land on Venus and transmit data back to Earth.

Launch: Venera 7 was launched on August 17, 1970, using a Molniya-M launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Spacecraft Design: The spacecraft consisted of an orbiter and a lander. The lander, designed to withstand the harsh conditions on Venus, included a spherical descent module equipped with scientific instruments for studying the Venusian atmosphere and surface.

Venus Arrival and Descent: Venera 7 entered the atmosphere of Venus on December 15, 1970. During the descent, the spacecraft endured extreme temperatures, pressures, and sulfuric acid clouds. The descent module separated from the orbiter, and a parachute was deployed to slow its descent.

Surface Landing: Venera 7 successfully landed on the surface of Venus on December 15, 1970, becoming the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the planet. The lander transmitted data back to Earth from the surface.

Data Transmission: The transmission of data from the surface of Venus was a historic achievement. Venera 7 sent back information for about 23 minutes, providing valuable data on the Venusian environment. The data included details about temperature, pressure, and composition of the atmosphere.

Surface Conditions: The surface conditions on Venus were extremely challenging, with temperatures reaching around 465 degrees Celsius (869 degrees Fahrenheit) and pressures about 90 times that of Earth’s atmosphere.

Legacy: Venera 7 demonstrated that it was possible to send spacecraft to the surface of Venus and transmit data, paving the way for subsequent missions to the planet. The Venera program, which included a series of missions to Venus, contributed significantly to our understanding of Earth’s neighboring planet.

Follow-up Missions: The success of Venera 7 led to subsequent Soviet missions to Venus, each building on the knowledge gained from the previous ones. These missions included orbiters, landers, and even some missions that deployed atmospheric balloons to study different aspects of Venus.