General Information

Venus is the second planet from the Sun. It is also the sixth largest. It named after Venus who was the goddess of love and beauty. It was probably named this because it was the brightest of the planets known in ancient times.

Basic Facts

Distance from Sun: 108,200,000 km or .72 AU
Mass: 4.869 e24 kg or .815 Earth
Radius: 6052 km or .95 Earth
Surface Gravity: 8.87 (m/s^2) or .91 Earth
Escape Velocity: 10.36 (km/s) or .93 Earth
Length of Day: 243 Earth days
Length of year: 225 Earth days

Venus has a slow rotation as seen above. Basically a day on Venus lasts longer than a year. There are also two other items of interest in reference to Venus rotation. The first is that since its rotation is so slow Venus does not have a magnetic field. Second is the fact the Venus has a retrogarde rotation. What this means is that when one looks at the North Pole from above the planet would spin clockwise. This is different from the Earth which spins counter-clockwise.

Venus is often referred to as Earth's sister planet. This is a result of the similarities between the two planets. They are roughly the same diameter and they are very close in mass. Their gravity and escape velocity are also very close.

Between the United States and the former USSR their have been over 20 missions to Venus. The following is a brief summary of the United States missions to Venus.

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