The VEGA Venus Balloon Experiment

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Science  21 Mar 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4744, pp. 1407-1408
DOI: 10.1126/science.231.4744.1407


In June 1985, two instrumented balloons were placed in the atmosphere of Venus as part of the VEGA mission. Each balloon traveled about 30 percent of the way around the planet at a float altitude near 54 kilometers. In situ sensors measured pressure, temperature, vertical wind velocity, cloud particle backscatter, ambient light level, and frequency of lightning. A ground-based network of 20 radio antennas tracked the balloons by very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) techniques to monitor the Venus winds. The history, organization, and principal characteristics of this international balloon experiment are described.

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