Incredible. Looking here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venera noticed that probes lasted at most 2 hours on the surface.
Also interesting how Mars landers go for years and on Venus we lasted at most 2 hours.
Venera 13's arm functioned properly. Venera 14's returned strange data, which was soon traced to a very simple fault - both Venera landers had a lens cap protecting their sensitive camera equipment on descent. These popped off on landing, and then the spring-loaded instrument arm extended to perform its testing.
Venera 13's arm extended into the soil correctly. Venera 14's arm extended directly into its discarded lens cap. Poor Venera 14 travelled millions of kilometers to test the compressibility of a lens cap on the surface of venus.
http://www.mentallandscape.com/C_Venera_Perspective.jpg (Venera 14 on right)
Venera 14 did also function for almost twice its design lifetime (~57 minutes) so it was a good little probe, but I love to use this little example when talking about reliability engineering.
I'm taking note of that. This can be a meme!
It just seems amazing that this footage was sent back, but not recorded. I presume it was filmed (in much the same way that the US lunar video was captured on film, from video sent back to earth), but that it has not yet been released, or was lost or otherwise destroyed.
To me it feels like this would be very exciting footage to see - the first footage ever sent back from a robot on another celestial body. The video would also have been important for helping scientists understand the make up of the moon. Remember these missions were from when the Soviet Union had only been able to return 109g of lunar samples to earth. Not the 50kg the USA had from two manned missions.
This is as close as I've come to finding video: http://www.mentallandscape.com/C_Luna21_Video04.jpg
This was covered extensively in the New York Times, not to mention lots of science magazines.
Find the dozens of NYT articles here:
It was so well known that the TV show "The Six Million Dollar Man" had a multi-episode plot arc on the topic.
Being born in the very early 1970s isn't good for much, but reminiscing about 300 baud acoustically coupled modems, and talking about the Soviet space program are two exceptions. ;-)
> A suite of instruments more sensitive than those on Mariner 2, in particular its radio occultation experiment, returned data on the composition, pressure and density of the Venusian atmosphere. The joint Venera 4 – Mariner 5 data were analyzed by a combined Soviet-American science team in a series of colloquia over the following year, in an early example of space cooperation.
You can bet your skippy that if ever someone steps foot on Mars, there will be books, conspiracies, movies, etc.
Coverage was there, for those who were interested in finding it. The Soviets' failures were, of course, highlighted, but their accomplishments weren't downplayed, either.
Also this shot of Halley's comet fly-by from another Soviet craft (Vega-1) that only served to deposit a lander on Venus but then went on to fly close to the famous comet as well:
Also looks like something not totaly out of the reach of home ameteurs thesedays, prohibited parts and materials aside though.
Edit: Some additional info. The Apollo crews had very little radiation protection, basically just the hulls of their spacecraft. This was thick enough to give them protection against the van allen belts as they zipped through them (not coincidentally where the ships were going near their highest speeds) but it wasn't enough to protect against an errant solar flare. Fortunately, the missions were short duration and we just plain got lucky. Venturing into the inner Solar System near Venus would have exposed crews to higher levels of radiation (due to proximity to the Sun) and combined with the longer duration trip would have virtually guaranteed being exposed to high doses from a CME or solar flare.
It's an eight-part series (each episode being about 45 minutes), and the first three episodes were especially remarkable for the descriptions of what scientists have accomplished, the interviews with some key people, and the film/images shown. I can watch those over and over, and each time I'm struck by how amazing it is that people have accomplished things like this. To me, there's a wonder in it all, from the fact that there have been these achievements and that I've lived at a time to bear witness.
I know it's listed on Amazon and through Netflix for anyone who is interested. My thanks go to whomever it was around here who informed me that this series exists.
Here is a look at the polar vortex on Venus -- it's like looking into hell!
Best self-promotion you can do is make quality posts and submissions and then link to your blog from your profile page instead.
* It has to be the original source of the new.
* There has to be no official English translation available.
* It has to be interesting :).
See for example: "Homer Simpson 100% in CSS :)" http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=176360
(I still remember the time, when 21 points where a lot.)