From Behind the Iron Curtain: The Soviet Venera program To Investigate Our Neighbor Planet Venus

While NASA set their sights on the Moon and outer planets, the Soviets spent some 30 years investigating the hellish inner planet Venus.


The Pioneer and Voyager probes the United States sent to explore the outer planets in the 1970s are often, and accurately, lauded as historic interplanetary achievements. That’s partly because, equipped with the Pioneer Plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, these objects are ostensibly meant to be found by aliens someday, helping them easily burrow into public consciousness. Similarly, robotic explorers to Mars, including the Viking landers and the Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity rovers, take innumerable headlines, and they’re often even given anthropomorphized personalities.