Venus is a hostile world, with average temperatures of 870 degrees fahrenheit (or 465 degrees celsius) and the mostly carbon-dioxide atmosphere is 92 times heavier than what we experience here on earth.
The Soviet spacecraft Venera-9 made a successful Venus landing on October 22, 1975 and returned black and white images of the terrain. Venera-12 landed on Venus on December 21, 1978, and Venera-11 landed on December 25. All of the color panoramic cameras failed, due to atmospheric pressure.
The descent module of Venera-13 landed on Venus on March 1, 1982. Two optical-mechanical cameras repeatedly scanned 180° or 60° through clear and colored filters and at higher resolution than the Venera-9/10 system. Venera-14 arrived four days after Venera-13, and its descent module landed on March 5. It remained in contact with the flyby module for 57 minutes.
The twin orbiters, Venera-15 and Venera-16, carried out the first high resolution survey of the surface of Venus, using synthetic aperture radar and radar altimetry. Surveying took place from November 11 1983 to July 10 1984, covering the northern cap of the planet down to about 25° latitude.
Images of the Venera-9 lander, which survived only 53 minutes before succumbing to the heat and pressure of Venus’ atmosphere, can be seen »here.