Venera 16

Thirty years ago today — June 7, 1983, UTC — the USSR launched the second of the paired Venera 15 and 16 orbiters from the Baikonur Cosmodrome atop a Proton K booster.

(Venera 15/16 model. Image from the National Space Science Data Center.)

Like its identical sister ship, Venera 16 used a side-scanning synthetic aperture radar to study the surface of Venus. Venera 16 was launched a few days after Venera 15, and the two spacecraft entered orbit around Venus a day apart in October 1983. Their mapping mission lasted until July 1984.

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