Artist's concept of Magellan spacecraft

The Magellan spacecraft, responding to computer command, Sunday fired four of its eight 100-pound thrusters to increase its velocity and slightly alter its trajectory to Venus.

The Trajectory Correction Maneuver was one of three planned for the spacecraft during its 15-month long voyage to Venus where it will map up to 90 percent of the planet with imaging radar.

The rockets burned for 5.6 seconds to increase Magellan's velocity 6.6 miles per hour. Magellan was more than 2-million miles from Earth and traveling 60,000 miles per hour relative to the sun.

The command for the maneuver was included in computer command sequence, called Cruise-2, uploaded to the spacecraft Saturday from Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Magellan will go into orbit around Venus Aug. 10, 1990. Its single science instrument is synthetic aperture radar which will penetrate the planet's perpetual cloud cover and map up to 90 percent of the surface.

Another trajectory correction maneuver is scheduled for late December 1989, 240 days after launch, and the last such maneuver is to be 17 days before the spacecraft goes into orbit.

News Media Contact