The Venera 1 was a spacecraft launched by the Soviet Union in 1961. It's purpose was to fly-by Venus, along with the observation of other things in the solar system.
Venera 1 didn't reach Venus at least with all things in-tact, and failed in it's main mission. Despite it's failure, it was cutting-edge in space design. It managed to verify the existence of solar wind in deep space, could of used a parabolic antenna to relay data and could make mid-course corrections.