Venera 3

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Venera 3
1966 CPA 3379.jpg
Mission type Venus atmospheric probe
Operator OKB-1
COSPAR ID 1965-092A
SATCAT № 1733
Mission duration 105 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft 3MV-3 No.1
Manufacturer Lavochkin
Launch mass 960 kilograms (2,120 lb)
Landing mass 377 kg (831 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 16 November 1965, 04:19 (1965-11-16UTC04:19Z) UTC
Rocket Molniya M
Launch site Baikonur 31/6
Orbital parameters
Reference system Heliocentric
Venus impact (failed landing)
Impact date 1 March 1966
Impact site 20°N 80°E / 20°N 80°E / 20; 80

Venera 3 (Russian: Венера-3 meaning Venus 3) (Manufacturer's Designation: 3MV-3) was a Venera program space probe that was built and launched by the Soviet Union to explore the surface of Venus. It was launched on 16 November 1965 at 04:19 UTC from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, USSR.

During 1965, the Central Committee, frustrated at the poor track record of Sergei Korolev's OKB-1 design bureau, reassigned the planetary probe program to the Lavochkin Bureau. In over two dozen attempts dating back to 1958, Luna 2 and Luna 3 were the only probes to complete all of their mission objectives. In the meantime, the United States had succeeded with the Mariner 2 Venus probe and Mariner 4 Mars probe, and after a long string of lunar probe failures, Ranger 7 successfully impacted the Moon.

The Lavochkin Bureau began a comprehensive testing program of the Venera and Luna probes, while Korolev had always opposed the idea of bench tests except on manned spacecraft. Among other design flaws they discovered was that the Venera landers, after being subjected to a centrifuge test, failed at half the G forces they were supposed to handle.


The mission of this spacecraft was to land on the Venusian surface. The entry body contained a radio communication system, scientific instruments, electrical power sources, and medallions bearing the Coat of Arms of the Soviet Union.

The probe possibly crash-landed on Venus on 1 March 1966, making Venera 3 the first spacecraft to impact on the surface of another planet. However, its communications systems failed before it reached the planet.[1][2]


Non-scientific equipment[edit]

  • Rechargeable batteries;
  • 2 solar panels;
  • Transmitters and receivers at UHF frequency;
  • Telemetry switches;
  • System of alignment and correction station movement: micromotors, gas jet, electro-optical probe position sensors and gyroscopes;
  • Computer controller of all probe systems.

Scientific equipment[edit]

Flight to Venus and landing[edit]

On Boxing Day 1965, the probe carried out a successful course change over how Venus. Unfortunately missed the Soviet flight on February 16, 1966, just two weeks before the planned landing, all contact with his robot explorer. However Venera 3 lander automatically nudged down on March 1, 1966, the then made a forced landing. It is reserved the Soviets, as so often in the first years of space, an important debut: for the first time in history managed to make a landing on another planet. With the loss of radio contact there are obtained scientific data. Several sources are contradictory about the exact location of the landing.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David Leverington (2000). New cosmic horizons. Cambridge University Press. p. 74. ISBN 0-521-65833-0. 
  2. ^ "Venera 3". NASA. 
  3. ^ The interplanetary space probes "Venera-2" and "Venera-3" (in Russian). Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space", ISBN 90 210 0597 2. 1982