In 1967, the Soviet planetary probe Venera 4 was unexpectedly crushed by atmospheric pressure while nearly 16 miles above the surface of Venus.
Venus is not the lush tropical world imagined by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Its surface temperature is 860º F, and its atmosphere is an ocean of Carbon Dioxide with a pressure 92 times greater than Earth's.
At high altitudes, layers of sulphuric-acid clouds hide the surface from view. Below this canopy, a rocky surface is bathed in a dim orange light.
Radar imaging has revealed that Venus is surprisingly volcanic. A lack of meteor craters has lead scientists to believe that its crust catastrophically melted about 500 million years ago.
Many images are from JPL and appear courtesy of their image use policy.