- Series of Soviet space probes to Venus and the inner solar system which started in 1961. This lengthy programme had its first success with Venera 4, which returned data from the atmosphere of Venus in 1967. Venera 5 and 6 carried out similar missions while Venera 7 and 8 returned data from the surface of Venus. Venera 9 transmitted the first photograph of the surface of Venus: Venera 10 sent more. Venera 11 and 12 had similar missions but more sophisticated instruments, while Venera 13 and 14 carried out successful analysis of surface samples. Veneras 15 and 16, launched in 1983, used radar to produce maps of the surface of Venus.