Venera 10

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Venera 10 (4V-1 No. 661)
Operator USSR
Mission type Orbiter and Lander
Launch date June 14, 1975
Launch vehicle Proton Booster Plus Upper Stage and Escape Stages
Satellite of Venus
Orbital insertion date October 23, 1975
COSPAR ID 1975-054D
Mass 2300 kg
Orbital elements
Eccentricity .8798
Inclination 29.5°
Apoapsis 19.82 RV
Periapsis 1.27 RV
Orbital period 49.4 h

Venera 10 (Russian: Венера-10 meaning Venus 10), manufacturer's designation: 4V-1 No. 661,[1] was a USSR unmanned space mission to Venus. It consisted of an orbiter and a lander. It was launched on June 14, 1975 03:00:31 UTC and had a mass of 5033 kg (11096 lb).[2]


The orbiter entered Venus orbit on October 23, 1975. Its mission was to serve as a communications relay for the lander and to explore cloud layers and atmospheric parameters with several instruments and experiments:[3]

  • 1.6-2.8 μm IR Spectrometer
  • 8-28 μm IR Radiometer
  • 352 nm UV Photometer
  • 2 Photopolarimeters (335-800 nm)
  • 300-800 nm Spectrometer
  • Lyman-α H/D Spectrometer
  • Bistatic Radar Mapping
  • CM, DM Radio Occultations
  • Triaxial Magnetometer
  • 345-380 nm UV Camera
  • 355-445 nm Camera
  • 6 Electrostatic Analyzers
  • 2 Modulation Ion Traps
  • Low-Energy Proton / Alpha detector
  • Low-Energy Electron detector
  • 3 Semiconductor Counters
  • 2 Gas-Discharge Counters
  • Cherenkov Detector

The orbiter consisted of a cylinder with two solar panel wings and a high gain parabolic antenna attached to the curved surface. A bell-shaped unit holding propulsion systems was attached to the bottom of the cylinder, and mounted on top was a 2.4 meter sphere which held the landers.


On October 23, 1975, this spacecraft was separated from the Orbiter, and landing was made with the sun near zenith, at 0517 UT, on October 25. A system of circulating fluid was used to distribute the heat load. This system, plus precooling prior to entry, permitted operation of the spacecraft for 65 min after landing. During descent, heat dissipation and deceleration were accomplished sequentially by protective hemispheric shells, three parachutes, a disk-shaped drag brake, and a compressible, metal, doughnut-shaped, landing cushion.[3]

Landing area of Venera 10 as mapped by the Magellan orbiter

It landed 2200 km from Venera 9 (within a 150 km radius of 15°25′N 291°31′E / 15.42°N 291.51°E / 15.42; 291.51), three days after its touchdown.[4] Venera 10 measured a surface windspeed of 3.5 m/s. Other measurements included atmospheric pressure at various heights, and temperature, and surface light levels. Venera 10 was the second probe to send back black and white television pictures from the Venusian surface (after Venera 9). Venera 10 photographs showed lava rocks of pancake shape with lava or other weathered rocks in between. Planned 360 degree panoramic pictures could not be taken because, as with Venera 9, one of two camera lens covers failed to come off, limiting pictures to 180 degrees.

Lander Payload:[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zak, Anatoly. "Venera-9 and 10". Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "NSSDC Master Catalog - Venera 10". NASA National Science Data Center. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Mitchell, Don P. "First Pictures of the Surface of Venus". Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Interplanetary Spacecraft