SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Venera 4, Soviet Venus space probe. Diagram of the flight pattern of the Soviet Venera 4 space probe during communication sessions and flight corrections en route to Venus. The outer circle is the Earth's orbit, the inner circle is Venus' orbit around the Sun. Venera 4, launched in 1967, was designed to study the Venusian atmosphere. On October 18, 1967, the Venera 4 descent vehicle entered the planet's atmosphere. It continued to transmit data until the signal was lost after falling to an altitude of 25 kilometres. It provided the first chemical analysis of the Venusian atmosphere, showing it to be primarily carbon dioxide with small quantities of nitrogen, oxygen and water vapour.
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