As seen from the Soviet space probe Vega 1, bright Venus was only a crescent on June 9th 1985, as it released the ball-shaped descent module located at the front of the spacecraft. For two days, the module coasted before entering the upper atmosphere of the planet. At an altitude of 61 kilometers, the ball split into two pieces. One piece continued to fall towards the surface hanging from a parachute. On the ground, it survived for only 56 minutes before Venus’ immense pressure and heat killed it.