Aug. 17, 1970 Venus and Earth are known as sister planets for good reason. They're both rocky, terrestrial worlds, about the same size, with about the same wide-ranging topography of mountains and canyons. They could almost be twins except that Venus' suffocating carbon dioxide atmosphere and runaway greenhouse effect create a surface air pressure 90 times greater than Earth's and a lead-melting surface temperature of 864 degrees Fahrenheit. Landing a ship in such a place and keeping it functioning for even a few seconds was the challenge the Soviets faced with their Venera series. Venera 7 managed the landing and, as expected, did not survive long just 23 minutes before succumbing to the murderous Venusian environment. But the Venera missions would continue, with multiple landings, through Venera 16 in 1983; the year before, Venera 13 operated for a full 127 minutes on the surface. Our sister planet clearly had taken to its Soviet suitor.