Magellan

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
 
This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring NASA Mars Spacecraft Prepare for Close Comet Flyby

› Read more

Rotating Shape Model of Rosetta's Comet Target Surface impressions of Rosetta's comet

› Read more

Surface-water depletion in the Colorado River Basin has left this Parched West Is Using Up Underground Water: NASA/UCI

› Read more