Magellan: The Unveiling of Venus

The 3.15-hour elliptical orbit of Magellan will be divided into distinct phases.

The 3.15-hour elliptical orbit of Magellan will be divided into distinct phases. When the spacecraft is closest to Venus, the antenna will point at the planet and the radar will map the surface (A), alternating between north and south swaths on successive passes. After radar operations are completed, the spacecraft will turn to point its antenna toward Earth (B) so that data can be transmitted (C). After calibration of the spacecraft's attitude control subsystem (D) and another data playback, Magellan will turn attention once again to the surface.


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