Science: Still Another Touch of Venus

Spacecraft will look again at our enigmatic neighbor

Despite 13 unmanned missions to Venus since 1961, ten by the Soviet Union and three by the U.S., Earth's nearest planetary neighbor has remained an enigma. Shrouded in a veil of fast-moving, pale yellow clouds, its surface temperature about 480° C. (900° F.)—hot enough to melt lead—Venus has tenaciously resisted attempts to probe its secrets. As Earth and Venus move closer together this year, two American and two Russian space probes will again test the formidable Venusian defenses. Last week, after a successful launch from Cape Canaveral, the first U.S. ship was speeding toward...

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