NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The Magellan spacecraft is deployed from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Atlantis on 4 May 1989. It was the start of Magellan's 15-month expedition to Venus, where it will map the surface of the planet. Once in Venusian orbit, Magellan will use a novel radar system to penetrate the dense clouds of gas that envelop the planet and provide photographic images of the surface. Magellan was deployed on the first day of the STS-30 space shuttle mission; the photograph was taken through the aft flight-deck windows of Atlantis with a hand-held 70mm camera.
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