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Venera 6



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 6 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 6 was launched into an Earth parking orbit on 10 January 1969 at 05:51:52 UT and then from a Tyazheliy Sputnik (69-002C) towards Venus . After a mid-course maneuver on 16 March the Venera 6 probe was released on 17 May 1969, 25,000 km from the planet. It entered the nightside atmosphere at 06:05 UT and deployed the parachute. The probe sent back readouts every 45 seconds for 51 minutes and ceased operation due the temperature and pressure effects at roughly 10 to 12 km altitude, over 5 degrees S, 23 degrees E.

The photometer failed to operate, but the atmosphere was sampled at 2 bar and 10 bar pressures. Together the Venera 5 and 6 probe data allowed a more precise determination of the atmospheric composition.

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

Alternate Names

  • 03648
  • Venera6
  • Venus 6

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1969-01-10
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.
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