by John Macco
20th of August 2009
The Pioneer-Venus Multiprobe spacecraft was launched on August 8, 1978 aboard Atlas-Centaur launch vehicle. The multiprobe consisted of a bus which carried one large and three small probes. The large probe deployed a parachute to slow its descent through the venusian atmosphere. A prelaunch series of four tests were conducted from June 4-9, 1978 in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB)High Bay #1. The VAB was used for the parachute tests since it offers an ideal, wind free facility at no additional construction costs. This building was also used for similiar tests of the Viking Mars landers parachute systems. The illustrated cover was autographed by KSC Chief Test Supervisor, William Schick; Project Engineer, Hans Rudolph and Test Supervisor, Gilbert Whittaker.