The image above of the surface of Venus was taken by a Soviet Venera lander.
The surface of Venus is covered in volcanos, rifts, ridges and chasms. Until the space age, the surface of Venus was hidden and virtually nothing was known about it. U.S and European orbiters have used radar to pierce the clouds. Russian spacecraft have even landed on the surface of Venus. The radar images have revealed a world where volcanos run rampant. More than about 80% of the landscape was formed by volcanic activity. Most of the surface consists of volcanic plains called planitiae. The largest are massive shield volcanos surrounded by lava flows.
The first detailed pictures of the surface of Venus were taken during the 1970s by four Soviet Venera landers. These probes, after managing to survive the dense atmosphere, extreme temperatures and pressures, landed on the surface. The probes survived just long enough to transmit detailed images back to Earth. The surface had a slab-like appearance covered in dark rock and surrounded by soil which contains gravel-sized rock fragments. Just before the extreme conditions destroyed them, two of the landers managed to analyze the surface rocks. The results showed a similarity with basaltic rocks found beneath Earth's oceans.
About 1,000 craters have been found on Venus, which is much more than Earth and less than the moon, Mars and Mercury. The more craters there are the older the surface must be, being that craters accumulate over time. This also applies to specific areas on a planet. An area with many impact craters must be older than an area with fewer impact craters. However, impact craters appear to be randomly distributed across the surface of Venus. This makes it difficult to know the age of different areas on the surface. Overall, the number of impact craters implies an age of up to 500 million years, so Venus actually has a surface younger than Earth.