The Pioneer Venus Orbiter was inserted into Venus orbit on December 4, 1978 – it returned data until October 1992.

The spacecraft used a surface radar mapper to survey the planet – from the data a complete map of Venus was produced.

[Image: NASA Ames Research Center, U.S Geological Survey and Massachusetts Institute of Technology]

Mona Evans
For news, activities, pictures and more, sign up to the Astronomy Newsletter!