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The Unbelievable Mission To Venus That You Probably Never Heard Of
By DANIEL FEININGER
A few years ago, scientists discovered the production of a chemical called phosphine on Venus, concluding that something alive must produce this excretion on the long-believed inhospitable world. This finding could rewrite our collective understanding of the universe and spark greater efforts to investigate our close neighbor.
Some might be shocked to learn of the Soviet space program’s several missions to the planet’s surface in 1975 and 1982, where they managed to land four of their Venera probes on Venus, capturing and transmitting images back to Earth. These images showed rocky formations appearing in muted yellow hues, similar to something you might find on Earth.
These missions to study Venus often go unnoticed, because the Soviet Union famously buried public acknowledgment of failed missions, making the data difficult to obtain. However, NASA and others have shown a renewed interest in exploring Venus to discover what could be waiting there and what could be learned from the yellow planet.