As this issue of PHYSICS TODAY reaches you, two Venus probes have completed about half of their 340‐million‐km journeys to the cloud enshrouded planet. Venus 4 left the Soviet Union on 12 June on a journey that the Russian news agency Tass said was to take “more than four months.” Mariner 5 left Cape Kennedy two days later and is intended to encounter Venus on 19 Oct. Eight hours after launch Tass reported that the Soviet automatic space station was in a proper trajectory to reach Venus and all equipment aboard was functioning properly. After course correction, made on 19 June, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, project manager for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe, said that Mariner 5 could be expected to pass within 4100 km of Venus.

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