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Home / Science / A failed Soviet Venus probe could simply fall back to Earth this year, so head up

A failed Soviet Venus probe could simply fall back to Earth this year, so head up



One of the lesser known achievements of the Cold War Space Race is the Soviet successes in landing probes on the incredibly hard and unyielding surface of Venus, which has temperatures that are infernal 870 degrees Fahrenheit (465 degrees Celsius) can reach) and atmospheric pressure 90 times higher than on Earth. Despite these hellish conditions, the Soviets managed to bring 14 functioning probes and lander to the surface. However, the Cosmos 482 was not included because a missile disruption kept it trapped in Earth's orbit. But it could come home soon.

Cosmos 482 was launched on March 31, 1972, just days after its sister probe, which became Venera 8, was brought to Venus. Soviet probes would normally have a generic Cosmos name at launch and will only get their official mission name if successfully out of Earth orbit. The Cosmos 482 would have been Venera 9 if it had made it to Venus, but of course not.

What happened was the "Escape Stage Block L" engine – the rocket stage from which the probe should be deployed Earth orbit and on to Venus – prematurely cut off at 125 seconds due to equipment failure, effectively turning the probe into one highly elliptical orbit around the earth with a maximum distance of about 6,093 miles and a minimum of about 126 miles stranded.

Over the years, this orbit has expired and now seems to range from 1,700 miles to 125 miles. It also appears that some time an explosion occurred that divided the spacecraft into at least two parts, one of which reentered the atmosphere and one is still in orbit.

While this is not accurate Regardless of which part of the spacecraft is in orbit, independent observers have noted that it is a kind of elongated shape, although it is not really clear what is up there.

The landing module of the Venera probes, seemingly photographing a disco

Sources seem to think that part of the lander still in orbit itself, makes this particular piece of space junk so interesting.

This decent vehicle was designed to withstand a reentry into the atmosphere of Venus; Even after nearly half a century in space, such a lander should be able to withstand more than a reentry of the Earth, which means a 1091 pound piece of old space hardware will most likely survive Earth's reentry and shake. Nobody is really sure where exactly and when the remains of Cosmos 482 will land, but everyone seems to agree that this is the case Be earlier than the original estimates of somewhere between 2023 and 2025.

Pictures of the Venus Surface of Venera 9

The good thing is that it reminds us of really hard and interesting hardware and explorations from outer space races; A landing on Venus with a spaceship is still impressive.

I think the downside is that one of those impressive spacecraft might crash into your garage. It's unlikely, but maybe you'll keep an eye out anyway.


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