Science: Lifting Venus' Veil

While the U.S. space program has concentrated on the exploration of the moon and Mars, Soviet scientists have trained their sights on cloud-enshrouded Venus. Since 1961, Russia has launched at least ten missions to Venus, most of them intended to land instrumented packages on the surface of the planet; by comparison, the U.S. has undertaken only two less ambitious flyby probes. The persistent Soviet effort has paid off. After careful analysis of data from Venera 8, which transmitted signals for 50 minutes after making a landing in July, Russian scientists have lifted still...

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