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In a recent (last 5 years), thick (>250 pages) Sci-Fi book I recall a story which involves a NASA team and Russian team landing separately on the planet Venus.

NASA uses an airship and has remote-controlled super human robots that are controlled by humans via a face plate human machine interface. The Russian team started later from Earth and didn't catch up in time with their fusion drive which the NASA mission didn't have.

The Russians had robots there before so they knew about an ancient wall beforehand. This structure was discovered by the NASA team via gamma spectrography and NASA sends their remote robots down to the Venus surface. The Russian team has a subsurface station and has some mysterious sickness.

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Do you recall any details of the cover art?
    – DavidW
    Nov 1 at 22:55
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Searching for books about a NASA airship exploring Venus leads me to Clouds of Venus (author website) by Brandon Q. Morris.

Cover of "Clouds of Venus" showing an ovoid airship flying over an erupting volcano against a sky full of red-tinted clouds.

The book's blurb notes the NASA airship and teases the discovery of life:

Venus is a hostile planet, covered by active volcanoes. Nevertheless, NASA launches an expedition to search for life there, because the dense clouds of Earth's hot sister could offer good conditions for it. Their specially developed airship cruises in the clouds of Venus to serve as a research platform for its four astronauts.

When they discover dangerous activities on the glowing-hot surface, there can only be one explanation: A highly sophisticated life form must be at work.

A review on Amazon notes that the Russians play a part in the story.

This review on Goodreads (in German) mentions the robots that the NASA astronauts use, a previously-existing Russian base, an artificial wall and a disease that afflicts the Russian cosmonauts.

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