Mockup of the Venera 1 spacecraft
|Mission type||Venus impactor|
|Harvard designation||1961 Gamma 1|
|Mission duration||7 days|
|Launch mass||6,424.0 kilograms (14,162.5 lb)|
|Dry mass||643.5 kilograms (1,419 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||February 12, 1961, 00:34:36 UTC|
|Launch site||Baikonur 1/5|
|End of mission|
|Last contact||19 February 1961|
|Perihelion altitude||1.019 AU|
|Aphelion altitude||0.718 AU|
|Flyby of Venus|
|Closest approach||19 May 1961|
|Distance||100,000 km (62,000 mi)|
Venera 1 (Russian : Венера-1 meaning Venus 1), also known as Venera-1VA No.2 and occasionally in the West as Sputnik 8 was the first spacecraft to fly past Venus, as part of the Soviet Union's Venera programme. Launched in February 1961, it flew past Venus on 19 May of the same year; however, radio contact with the probe was lost before the flyby, resulting in it returning no data.
Venera 1 was a 643.5-kilogram (1,419 lb) probe consisting of a cylindrical body 1.05 metres (3 ft 5 in) in diameter topped by a dome, totalling 2.035 metres (6 ft 8.1 in) in height. This was pressurized to 1.2 standard atmospheres (120 kPa) with dry nitrogen, with internal fans to maintain even distribution of heat.[ citation needed ] Two solar panels extended from the cylinder, charging a bank of silver-zinc batteries. A 2-metre parabolic wire-mesh antenna was designed to send data from Venus to Earth on a frequency of 922.8 MHz. A 2.4-metre antenna boom was used to transmit short-wave signals during the near-Earth phase of the mission. Semidirectional quadrupole antennas mounted on the solar panels provided routine telemetry and telecommand contact with Earth during the mission, on a circularly-polarized decimetre radio band.
The probe was equipped with scientific instruments including a flux-gate magnetometer attached to the antenna boom, two ion traps to measure solar wind, micrometeorite detectors, and Geiger counter tubes and a sodium iodide scintillator for measurement of cosmic radiation. An experiment attached to one solar panel measured temperatures of experimental coatings. Infrared and/or ultraviolet radiometers may have been included. The dome contained a KDU-414 engine used for mid-course corrections. Temperature control was achieved by motorized thermal shutters.
During most of its flight, Venera 1 was spin stabilized. It was the first spacecraft designed to perform mid-course corrections, by entering a mode of 3-axis stabilization, fixing on the Sun and the star Canopus. Had it reached Venus, it would have entered another mode of 3-axis stabilization, fixing on the Sun and Earth, and using for the first time a parabolic antenna to relay data.
Venera 1 was the second of two attempts to launch a probe to Venus in February 1961, immediately following the launch of its sister ship Venera-1VA No.1,which failed to leave Earth orbit. Soviet experts launched Venera-1 using a Molniya carrier rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch took place at 00:34:36 GMT on 12 February 1961.
The spacecraft, along with the rocket's Blok-L upper stage, was initially placed into a 229 × 282 km low Earth orbit,before the upper stage fired to place "Venera 1" into a heliocentric orbit, directed towards Venus. The 11D33 engine was the world's first staged-combustion-cycle rocket engine, and also the first use of an ullage engine to allow a liquid-fuel rocket engine to start in space.
Three successful telemetry sessions were conducted, gathering solar-wind and cosmic-ray data near Earth, at the Earth's Magnetopause, and on February 19 at a distance of 1,900,000 km (1,200,000 mi). After discovering the solar wind with Luna 2, Venera 1 provided the first verification that this plasma was uniformly present in deep space. Seven days later, the next scheduled telemetry session failed to occur. On May 19, 1961, Venera 1 passed within 100,000 km (62,000 mi) of Venus. With the help of the British radio telescope at Jodrell Bank, some weak signals from Venera 1 may have been detected in June. Soviet engineers believed that Venera 1 failed due to the overheating of a solar-direction sensor.
Mariner 5 was a spacecraft of the Mariner program that carried a complement of experiments to probe Venus' atmosphere by radio occultation, measure the hydrogen Lyman-alpha spectrum, and sample the solar particles and magnetic field fluctuations above the planet. Its goals were to measure interplanetary and Venusian magnetic fields, charged particles, plasma, radio refractivity and UV emissions of the Venusian atmosphere.
The Venera program was the name given to a series of space probes developed by the Soviet Union between 1961 and 1984 to gather information about the planet Venus. Ten probes successfully landed on the surface of the planet, including the two Vega program and Venera-Halley probes, while thirteen probes successfully entered the Venusian atmosphere. Due to the extreme surface conditions on Venus, the probes could only survive for a short period on the surface, with times ranging from 23 minutes to two hours.
Tyazhely Sputnik,, also known by its development name as Venera 1VA No.1, and in the West as Sputnik 7, was a Soviet spacecraft, which was intended to be the first spacecraft to explore Venus. Due to a problem with its upper stage it failed to leave low Earth orbit. In order to avoid acknowledging the failure, the Soviet government instead announced that the entire spacecraft, including the upper stage, was a test of a "Heavy Satellite" which would serve as a launch platform for future missions. This resulted in the upper stage being considered a separate spacecraft, from which the probe was "launched", on several subsequent missions.
Ranger 5 was a spacecraft of the Ranger program designed to transmit pictures of the lunar surface to Earth stations during a period of 10 minutes of flight prior to impacting on the Moon, to rough-land a seismometer capsule on the Moon, to collect gamma-ray data in flight, to study radar reflectivity of the lunar surface, and to continue testing of the Ranger program for development of lunar and interplanetary spacecraft. Due to an unknown malfunction, the spacecraft ran out of power and ceased operation. It passed within 725 km of the Moon.
Mars 1, also known as 1962 Beta Nu 1, Mars 2MV-4 and Sputnik 23, was an automatic interplanetary station launched in the direction of Mars on November 1, 1962, the first of the Soviet Mars probe program, with the intent of flying by the planet at a distance of about 11,000 km (6,800 mi). It was designed to image the surface and send back data on cosmic radiation, micrometeoroid impacts and Mars' magnetic field, radiation environment, atmospheric structure, and possible organic compounds.
Kosmos 21 was a Soviet spacecraft. This mission has been tentatively identified by NASA as a technology test of the Venera series space probes. It may have been an attempted Venus impact, presumably similar to the later Kosmos 27 mission, or it may have been intended from the beginning to remain in geocentric orbit. In any case, the spacecraft never left Earth orbit after insertion by the Molniya launcher. The orbit decayed on 14 November 1963, three days after launch.
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