Mission Summary

The Magellan spacecraft, which arrived at Venus in 1990, made the first global map of the surface of Venus as well as global maps of the planet's gravity field. The mission produced surprising findings about Venus, including a relatively young planetary surface possibly formed by lava flows from planet-wide volcanic eruptions.

In October 1994, the Magellan spacecraft intentionally plunged to the surface of Venus to gather data on the planet's atmosphere before it ceased operations. It marked the first time an operating plantary spacecraft had been intentionally crashed.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

Type: Orbiter
Status: Past
Launch Date: May 04, 1989
2:46 p.m. EDT (18:45 UTC)
Launch Location: Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Mission End Date: October 12, 1994
Target: Venus
Destination: Venus
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