At a time when the US was turning its attention from the moon and towards Mars, the Soviet Union had an active exploration program for Venus, Venera. Running from 1961 to 1983, the program had setbacks from the first launch, but Venera 9 produced the first ever transmission of images from another planet. So few camera-recorded images of Venus exists because of the planet's conditions. The atmosphere is 90 times heavier than the Earth's, and the surface temperature is 740°C. Many Venera probes were never able to transmit for more than a few seconds before shutting down. Venera 13, for its part, has sent back some amazing images.