This is a full-scale engineering model of the Vega Venus-Halley
probe. Two Vega probes were launched in December 1984. Each
spacecraft dropped a lander (carried in the large brown ball at the
top of the spacecraft) onto the Venusian surface in June 1985. Each
lander deployed a balloon into the Venusian atmosphere which provided
the first long term direct measurements of the atmosphere. The main
spacecraft continued on to flyby passes of Halley's Comet in March
1986. These probes provided the first closeup images of the comet and
provided the information necessary to successfully send the European
Giotto probe into the coma.
Click on the thumbnail image for a larger photo.
This next set of photos is of a Vega engineering model broken down
at the Garber Restoration Facility of the National Air and Space
This final set of photos is of the assembled Vega engineering on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport.