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The Magellan Venus Explorer's Guide



The Magellan Venus Explorer's Guide was published by JPL in August 1990 (JPL Publication 90-24) just prior to Magellan's Venus Orbit Insertion. Carolynn Young was the editor of this Guide. Robin Dumas provided the design, layout and production of the document. Ron Baalke converted the Guide into this html document.

This publication describes the Magellan radar-mapping mission to the planet Venus. Scientific highlights include the history of U.S. and Soviet missions, as well as ground-based radar observations, that have provided the current knowledge about the surface of Venus. Descriptions of the major Venusian surface features include controversial theories about the origin of some of the features. The orginization of the Magellan science investigators into discipline-related task groups for data analysis purposes is presented. The design of the Magellan spacecraft and the ability of its radar sensor to conduct radar imaging, altimetry, and radiometry measurements are discussed.

Other topics report on the May 1989 launch, the interplanetary cruise, the Venus orbit-insertion maneuver, and the in-orbit mapping strategy. The objectives of a possible extended mission emphasize the gravity experiment and explain why high-resolution gravity data cannot be acquired during the primary mission. A focus on the people of Magellan reveals how they "fly" the spacecraft and prepare for major mission events. Special items of interest associated with the Magellan mission are contained in "windows" interspersed throughout the text.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Magellan Mission

3. The Geology of Venus

4. The Magellan Spacecraft

5. The Radar System

6. Ferdinand Magellan - The Project's Namesake

7. The Science Investigators

8. What's in a Name?

9. From Earth to Venus

10. In Orbit At Last!

11. Mapping the Veiled Planet

12. Getting the Job Done

13. Project Organization

14. Coming Attractions

15. Acronyms

16. Glossary of Geological Terms

17. Acknowledgement

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