Pioneer Venus completes its map… for now

VenusNASA’s unmanned Pioneer Venus Orbiter completes its radar mapping survey of the planet Venus, having used radar to create the first-ever topographical map of that world, which is usually hidden behind a thick, toxic cloud deck. Launched in 1978, Pioneer Venus Orbiter is the only surviving component of the two-vehicle Pioneer Venus mission, but with its solar arrays still gathering adequate power and all of its instruments still functioning well, the orbiter is not deactivated or deorbited at this time; future tasks will be found for it in the years ahead.

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