Venera 10
Venera 10
Mission typeVenus orbiter / lander
Mission durationTravel: 4 months and 9 days
Orbiter: 144 days
Lander: 65 minutes
Last contact: 286 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type4V-1 No. 661[3]
Launch mass5,033 kg (11,096 lb)[3]
BOL mass2,230 kg (4,920 lb)
Landing mass1,560 kg (3,440 lb)
Dimensions2.7 m × 2.3 m × 5.7 m (8.9 ft × 7.5 ft × 18.7 ft)
Start of mission
Launch dateJune 14, 1975 (1975-06-14), 03:00:31 UTC[3]
RocketProton with upper and escape stages
Launch siteBaikonur 81/24[3]
End of mission
Last contact"[Orbiter transmitted] data until at least June 1976."[3]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemCytherocentric
Pericytherion altitude1,620 kilometers (1,010 mi)
Apocytherion altitude113,900 kilometers (70,800 mi)
Period49.4 hours
Revolution no.71
Venus orbiter
Orbital insertionOctober 23, 1975
Venus lander
Spacecraft componentVenera 10 descent craft
Landing date02:17, October 25, 1975
Landing site15°25′N 291°31′E / 15.42°N 291.51°E / 15.42; 291.51
(near Beta Regio)

Venera 10 (Russian: Венера-10 meaning Venus 10), or 4V-1 No. 661,[4] was a Soviet uncrewed space mission to Venus. It consisted of an orbiter and a lander. It was launched on June 14, 1975, 03:00:31 UTC and had a mass of 5033 kg (11096 lb).[5]


When the mission launched, the Soviet Union only disclosed that the mission's objective was to explore Venus and the surrounding space. Western sources speculated that the spacecraft contained a lander.[6]

The orbiter entered Venus orbit on October 23, 1975. Its mission was to serve as a communications relay for the lander and to explore cloud layers and atmospheric parameters with several instruments and experiments:[7]

The orbiter consisted of a cylinder with two solar panel wings and a high gain parabolic antenna attached to the curved surface. A bell-shaped unit holding propulsion systems was attached to the bottom of the cylinder, and mounted on top was a 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) sphere which held the landers. To reach Venus, the spacecraft traveled in a heliocentric orbit from Earth to the planet with perihelion of 0.72 AU, apohelion of 1.02 AU, eccentricity of 0.17, inclination of 2.3 degrees and orbital period of 294 days.


On October 23, 1975, the lander separated from the orbiter, and touched down with the sun near zenith, at 05:17 UT, on October 25. A system of circulating fluid was used to distribute the heat load. This system, plus precooling prior to entry, permitted operation of the spacecraft for 65 minutes after landing. During descent, heat dissipation and deceleration were accomplished sequentially by protective hemispheric shells, three parachutes, a disk-shaped drag brake, and a compressible, metal, doughnut-shaped, landing cushion.[7]

It landed near the border area between Beta Regio and Hyndla Regio[8] (within a 150 km radius of 15°25′N 291°31′E / 15.42°N 291.51°E / 15.42; 291.51), three days after the touchdown of, and 2200 km from Venera 9.[9] Venera 10 measured a surface windspeed of 3.5 m/s. Other measurements included atmospheric pressure at various heights, and temperature, and surface light levels. Venera 10 was the second probe to send back black and white television pictures from the Venusian surface (after Venera 9). Venera 10 photographs showed lava rocks of pancake shape with lava or other weathered rocks in between. Planned 360 degree panoramic pictures could not be taken because, as with Venera 9, one of two camera lens covers failed to come off, limiting pictures to 180 degrees.

The lander communicated with Earth using the Venera 10 orbiter as a communication relay.[10]

Lander payload:[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Venera 10 Bus". Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  2. ^ "Venera 10 Descent Craft". Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Siddiqi, Asif A. (2018). Beyond Earth: A Chronicle of Deep Space Exploration, 1958–2016 (PDF). The NASA history series (second ed.). Washington, DC: NASA History Program Office. pp. 128–129. ISBN 978-1-62683-042-4. LCCN 2017059404. SP2018-4041.
  4. ^ Zak, Anatoly. "Venera-9 and 10". Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  5. ^ "Venera 10". National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  6. ^ "Soviet Launches a 2D Spacecraft". The New York Times. Associated Press. June 15, 1975. p. 23.
  7. ^ a b c Mitchell, Don P. "First Pictures of the Surface of Venus". Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  8. ^ LePage, Andrew (October 22, 2015). "Venera 9 and 10 to Venus". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  9. ^ Interplanetary Spacecraft
  10. ^ "Venera 10 Descent Craft". National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved February 25, 2021.