This Day in Space History – August 8th, 1978 – Pioneer Venus 2 Launched

A mission to launch multiple probes into the atmosphere of Venus was launched on this day in history.

pioneer venus 2

The Pioneer Venus 2, or Pioneer 13, unmanned spacecraft was launched into space on an Atlas-Centaur rocket on August 8th, 1978. Courtesy: NASA / JPL

The Pioneer Venus 2, or Pioneer 13, unmanned spacecraft was launched into space on an Atlas-Centaur rocket on August 8th, 1978.

The craft featured four probes to be sent into the hot, high-pressure Venusian atmosphere. These probes included a variety of instruments to further study the second-closest planet to the sun.

The mission was a success, with all four probes successfully entering the atmosphere and returning data back to Earth. One of the probes actually survived impact with the surface of Venus, and returned data for a time before eventually succumbing to the heat and pressure of the planet.

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