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Magellan MissionThe Magellan spacecraft was launched from Cape Kennedy on 4 May 1989 and was inserted into orbit around Venus on 10 Aug. 1990. The Magellan spacecraft carries a radar instrument that makes synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of the surface, measures the altitude of the Venusian surface directly below the spacecraft, and obtains radiometric observations of the surface. Radar and radiometric observations of the Venusian surface commenced on 15 Sep. 1990 and continued until 15 Sep. 1992. Gravity observations began on 24 Sep. 1992 and will continue until late May 1993. The radar observations produced SAR images and surface topography for 99 percent of the surface. These radar observations support the objective of improving the knowledge of the geological history of Venus by analysis of surface morphology and the processes that control them. The gravity observations that are being conducted now support the Magellan objective of improving the knowledge of the geophysics of Venus, principally its density distribution and dynamics. Also, Magellan generated more digital planetary image data than all previous planetary missions.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Thompson, Thomas W. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-Fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 3: N-Z
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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