The closest distance from Earth to Venus is about 26 million miles, while the furthest distance is about 160 million miles. The two planets are closest when they are on the same side in relation to the sun and furthest when they are on opposite sides.
According to NASA, more than 40 spacecrafts have explored Venus. The Magellan mission in the early 1990s mapped 98 percent of the planet's surface. The planet spins in the direction opposite of that of other planets. Because of this, the sun rises in the west and sets in the east on Venus. It is the second closest planet to the sun.