August 25, 1995
A World Explorer
Credit: NASA, JPL Magellan Project
Ferdinand Magellan's expedition of 5 ships and 265 men left Spain in 1519 in search of a western route to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. In 1522 one ship and 17 men returned. NASA launched the Magellan probe on May 4, 1989. Placed in a polar orbit, Magellan's many circumnavigations resulted in a detailed radar mapping of 98% of the Venusian surface. As pictured, the radar mapper's antenna resembles a large inverted bowl. Power for the radar was produced by the wing like solar panels. In October of 1994, the Magellan probe entered the Venusian atmosphere and ground controllers lost contact with the spacecraft.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.