Launch date: August
Launch vehicle: Atlas-Centaur
Venus arrival date: December
Weight: 315 kilograms
view of the Pioneer Venus Probe parachuting
down through the atmosphere of Venus. Image
courtesy of NASA.
The Pioneer Venus Probe was one part of a "multiprobe" spacecraft
designed to send four probes from a courier "bus" down
through the atmosphere of Venus. The probe contained
seven science experiments to collect samples and readings
about the atmosphere's composition as it parachuted down
to Venus's surface. Entry forces on the probe exceeded
300g, but the probe performed perfectly, sending data
back to Earth until its planned crash into the planet's
surface, less than an hour after it entered Venus's atmosphere.
addition to the Pioneer Venus Multiprobe, the Pioneer
Venus mission also included the launch of an orbiter
on May 20, 1978. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter circled
Venus from December 1978 until it burned up in the
Venus atmosphere in August 1992.
Science Center's Pioneer Venus Probe
The Venus Probe on display in the Air and Space Gallery
is an engineering model on loan from the National Air
and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Venus Project Information
This NASA page includes details about all the
experiments contained on the Venus Probe, as well as
on other components of the Pioneer Venus Project. You
can also find links to information about the planet Venus,
including images taken by the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and
other satellite missions to the planet.
The main focus of this page, which includes information
on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Multiprobe, is the gamma
ray experiment included on the Orbiter. However, you
can also follow links to a gallery of Pioneer Venus images,
including some artists' renditions of the crafts at Venus
as well as some photos of the crafts during assembly.