Taking a last look at the Venus ionosphere



This piece was written to help inform science teachers, students, and journalists about some of the latest developments in the geophysical sciences. It will also appear in Earth in Space, published by AGU.

The Pioneer Venus Orbiter came to a fiery end in the atmosphere of Venus in October 1992 when the spacecraft propellant was finally exhausted and solar gravitational perturbations to the spacecraft orbit could no longer be countered with thruster firings. This entry marked the end of a highly successful mission to study the ionosphere and atmosphere of Venus.