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"Venera 14 on Venus"

 

The Soviet Venera 14 lander on Venus

"Venera 14 on Venus" (1982) - The Soviet lander survived intense heat and pressure long enough to relay images of the surrounding lava fields of Phoebe Regio in 1982.

The curious appearance of the lander was dictated by the severe conditions beneath the planet's thick cloud cover. The surface of Venus is perpetually subjected to temperatures of over 800 degrees F. and atmospheric pressures that are equivalent to those at 3,000-foot ocean depths. Not a nice place.

Earlier Soviet missions into Venus' atmosphere resulted in loss of radio transmission well before the surface was reached. The use of conventional parachutes in the dense air made for painfully slow descents, essentially pressure-cooking the landers. Consequential hardware or instrument failures (these were not entirely unexpected) ranged from the batteries not surviving the prolonged descent, to pressure leaks into the instrument compartment, to disintegrating parachutes.

Subsequent Venera missions managed to land intact using a revised atmospheric entry method which released drogue chutes at a higher altitude and then used a circular aero brake which allowed a much quicker traversal of the remaining distance to the surface.

Publication: National Geographic Magazine, Sky and Telescope, Astronomy, The Planetary Report, others.

Copyright 1982, James Hervat

 

Artist’s note: In the 1980’s era of glasnost, I had the honor of personally presenting prints of two of my paintings--the Venera 14 shown here and another depicting one of the VeGa Venus landers (see that painting here) to the late Soviet planetary scientist Dr. Valery Barsukov, then Director of Moscow’s Vernadsky Institute. This presentation took place at the 1986 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference at the Johnson Space Center and was arranged by planetary scientists from Brown University. - JH

 

PRINTS AVAILABLE

High-quality reproductions of all the artwork in this gallery are available from my Print Store. They are offered in a range of sizes, printed on paper, canvas or other print substrates. Prints can be ordered unframed or you can choose from a selection of framing and matting options. Items are usually shipped in 2-3 business days and come with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee return policy. Please see the PRINTS page for more information and a link to the Print Store.

 

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