Today’s the 50th anniversary of an overlooked but important visit to a fairly nasty place… the planet Venus. The Venera 5 craft isn’t well remembered, partly because it only got to do its atmospheric testing for an hour before the hellscape that is the second planet basically wrecked it, but it did teach us some important new things about Venus. In short: a nice planet, but you wouldn’t want to live there. You might, though, want to live in McMinnville, Oregon, which is kicking off its annual UFO Festival today, complete with fun run called the Alien Abduction Dash.
Venera 5 (NASA)
Yes, We’ve Seen the Surface of Venus (Popular Science)