Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tonight's Sky for December 15: Venera 7 Lands on Venus (1970)

It was on this date in 1970 that the Russian-built Venera 7 became the first spacecraft to both land on and transmit data from another planet. The data transmitted was minimal, a temperature reading of 887 degrees Fahrenheit, but it was the first data ever transmitted back to Earth from another planet. Later investigation came to the conclusion that the craft had probably bounced on landing and came to rest on its side, thus preventing the transmission of any further data thanks to the fact t hat the antenna was pointed down to the ground. 

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