NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Venera 5



The Venera 5 and Venera 6 spacecraft were of identical design and launched 5 days apart in January 1969. The spacecraft were designed to make in-situ measurements as they descended through the Venusian atmosphere. Measurements included temperature, pressure, composition

Spacecraft and Subsystems

The Venera 5 spacecraft was very similar to Venera 4 although it was of a stronger design. It comprised a bus with a mass of 1130 kg which held the descent probe. The probe was spherical with a mass of 405 kg and was designed for decelerations as high as 450-g. Venera 5 and 6 were designed with smaller parachutes (15 square meters) than Venera 4 to allow them to fall faster so as to get lower in the atmosphere while still operational. The top of the probe would be ejected to deploy the parachute and expose the instruments to the atmosphere. The probe carried a radio altimeter, two resistance thermometers, an aneroid barometer, eleven gas analyzer cartridges, an ionization densitometer, and photoelectric sensors. The bus held a magnetometer, cosmic-ray counters, charged particle traps, and an ultraviolet photometer. The spacecraft also carried a medallion bearing the coat of arms of the U.S.S.R. and a bas-relief of V.I. Lenin to the night side of Venus.

Mission Profile

Venera 5 was launched into an Earth parking orbit on 5 January 1969 at 06:28:08 UT and then from a Tyazheliy Sputnik (69-001C) towards Venus . After a mid-course maneuver on 14 March 1969, the probe was released from the bus on 16 May 1969 at a distance of 37,000 km from Venus. The probe entered the nightside atmosphere at 06:01 UT and when the velocity slowed to 210 m/sec the parachute deployed and transmissions to Earth began. The probe sent read-outs every 45 seconds for 53 minutes before finally succumbing to the temperature and pressure at roughly 320 C, 26.1 bar, at 24 to 26 km altitude over 3 degrees S, 18 degrees E.

The photometer detected a light level of 250 Watts per square meter and confirmed the high temperatures, pressures, and carbon dioxide composition of the atmosphere found by Venera 4.

Spacecraft image for illustrative purposes - not necessarily in the public domain.

Alternate Names

  • 03642
  • Venera5
  • Venus 5

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1969-01-05
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 2nd Generation Upper Stage + Escape Stage
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R
Mass: 1130 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Artem IvankovGeneral ContactLavochkin

Selected References

  • Vinogradov, A. P., et al., Investigation of the Venus atmosphere by Venera 4, Venera 5 and Venera 6 probes, in Astronaut. Res. 1970, Unnumbered, 211-214, North-Holland Publ. Co., Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1971.
  • Harvey, B., The new Russian space programme from competition to collaboration, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, England, 1996.
  • Johnson, N. L., Handbook of soviet lunar and planetary exploration - volume 47 science and technology series, Amer. Astronau. Soc. Publ., 1979.
[] NASA Logo -