Magellan (spacecraft)

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The Magellan spacecraft
A view of Venus, created from radar information from Magellan

The Magellan spacecraft, also called the Venus Radar Mapper, was a NASA spacecraft designed to explore the planet Venus. It was launched on May 4, 1989, and reached Venus on August 10, 1990.[1] It was in orbit around Venus for four years making detailed maps of the surface using radar and measuring the planet's gravity. Because of the thick atmosphere around the planet, the information from Magellan provided scientists with their first views of the surface of Venus.[2] On October 12, 1994, the Magellan spacecraft was crashed into the planet on purpose.[1]

The Magellan was the first spacecraft to be launched from a Space Shuttle, the Atlantis. It was also the first spacecraft to be deliberately crashed.[2] Magellan was made from parts left over from other space exploration programs, including Voyager.

The Magellan was named after the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521).[2]

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hamilton, Calvin J. (2012). "Magellan Mission to Venus". solarviews.com. http://www.solarviews.com/eng/magellan.htm. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Magellan Spacecraft - Venus Radar Mapper". aerospaceguide.net. 2012. http://www.aerospaceguide.net/spaceprobe/magellanspacecraft.html. Retrieved August 10, 2012.