Monday, August 8, 2016

Pioneer Venus Multiprobe launched 1978

Venus (photo taken from Venus Orbiter)

Pioneer Venus Multiprobe spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida August 8, 1978 and carried four instrumented probes to investigate the Venusian atmosphere.  The craft reached Venus in November and deployed the probes (Large Probe, North Probe, Night Probe, and Day Probe) on the 20th.  All of them entered the atmosphere on December 8.  The carrier of the probes or “bus” was fitted with an ion mass/spec and a neutral mass/spec.

The Large Probe carried seven experiments including a neutral mass/spec, a gas chromatograph, a nephelometer, temperature and pressure indicators.  It entered the Venusian atmosphere on the night side.  The smaller probes also had nephelometers

The North Probe entered the atmosphere on the day side about 60 degrees north latitude.  The Night probe entered on the night side and the Day probe entered on the…duh…day side.  The Day probe, although it did not have a parachute, survived the impact and sent data back for over an hour.

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