Check this out: Two noteworthy achievements in space exploration, courtesy of our friends the Russians.
March 1, 1966 – Venera 3, launched from the USSR on November 16, 1965, crashed into the surface of Venus, becoming the first spacecraft from Earth to land on another planet. However, “crash” is the operative word here, as the probe was damaged during landing and rendered unable to transmit any telemetry back to Earth.
March 1, 1982 – Venera 13, launched October 30, 1981, lands on Venus. This mission is much more successful than prior attempts, and was able to transmit data and images from the surface. Designed to last in the planet’s harsh environment for about 30 minutes, Venera 13 held out for more than two hours before finally going belly up.
All that stuff is still there, for anybody heading that way during summer vacation, or whatever.
Pretty cool, eh?
(There a couple of other “not too shabby at all” Venera-releated milestones scattered throughout the year, as well.)