Venera 3 Is the First Spacecraft to Impact on Another Planet (Great Events from History II: Science and Technology Series)
Article abstract: The Soviet planetary probe, Venera 3, was the first man-made object to impact the surface of another planet.
Summary of Event
The Soviet Venus probe, Venera 3, was launched on November 12, 1965, by a three-stage A-2e booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, near Tyuratam, Kazakhstan, Soviet Union. The chief designers were G. N. Babakin, A. M. Isayev, Sergei P. Koroiev, and Vasili P. Mishin. The probe’s 43-meter-tall, 509,840-kilogram thrust booster placed Venera 3 into a temporary Earth parking orbit. Before completing its first revolution of Earth, the craft’s “escape stage” reignited and boosted Venera 3 into a heliocentric transfer orbit, which would reach the planet Venus after a flight of 280 million kilometers over 105 days.
The design of the 960-kilogram Venera 3 was based upon a standardized spacecraft bus developed by Soviet engineers for all Soviet unmanned lunar and planetary spacecraft from the mid-1960’s through the early 1970’s. The overall length of Venera 3 was 3.5 meters. The core of the probe consisted of a 1-meter-diameter pressurized cylindrical compartment containing electronics, batteries, and command and communications equipment. Solar panels mounted on both sides of the spacecraft recharged Venera 3’s batteries. Excess heat generated by the probe’s electronics was carried by fluid circulation to a hemispherical radiator mounted at the end of each solar...
(The entire section is 2188 words.)
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