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Magellan spacecraft on Shuttle in Assembly bldg

Magellan spacecraft on Shuttle in Assembly bldg

R250/0072

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The Magellan Venus exploration probe inside the Shuttle cargo bay, prior to launch. Magellan was deployed from Shuttle Atlantis six hours after the start of Mission STS-30 on 4 May 1989. The probe took 15 months to reach Venus, after which it entered orbit and commenced mapping the planet's surface using radar. This scene was taken inside the support buildings of Launch Pad 39B, where the probe was loaded onto the Shuttle. Magellan was the first planetary probe launched by the Shuttle, and the first US planetary probe since Pioneer Venus in 1978. Atlantis made a safe return to Earth on 8 May 1989 after 64 orbits.

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