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Magellan Products Guide



NASA's Magellan mission has mapped almost all of the planet Venus using a high-resolution radar instrument. Hundreds of photographs, more than 100 CD-ROMs, and many other Magellan materials are available through a number of different sources. This guide describes the most appropriate routes through which different products can be obtained by the public, educators, the press and writers, and researchers.

Although these descriptions specifically address Magellan products, the same sources also provide access to products from most of NASA's other missions. Choosing the most appropriate source will depend on the type of requester, the product which they want, and their location.

Members of the Public

Members of the public interested in information about the Magellan mission will find the following sources most useful. Those with particular interest in photographic or digital materials from Magellan may find the additional sources listed in the section for Researchers useful. A list of sources outside NASA with Magellan materials available to the public is included at the end of this document, as well as a list of on-line computer sources.

     Jet Propulsion Laboratory
     4800 Oak Grove Drive
     Pasadena, California 91109
     (818) 354-4321
The Magellan mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. JPL supports several major sources through which Magellan materials can be obtained. The mail stop of each source should be added to JPL's general address.
     Public Information Office
     Mail Stop 180-200
     (818) 354-5011
The Public Information Office (PIO) can provide most available information about the Magellan mission. The office's primary responsibility is to provide Magellan materials to the working press. It maintains a list of recognized press to whom it sends advance notice of Magellan press conferences. Official PIO materials released at press conferences are given to those members of the press who attend the conferences and are sent simultaneously to those on the list who do not attend. Additional materials shown at press conferences or otherwise released by the Magellan Project are also available if specifically requested. All Magellan images carry captions describing the area covered and the features of particular scientific interest.

The recognized press list is limited in size. Currently, the list is limited to organizations in the United States. In order to assist those not on the list, JPL has arranged for released materials to be available quickly through contractors.

All released Magellan images are available to anyone (both press and the public) at nominal cost through the JPL contractor listed below. The images are provided to the contractor simultaneously with their release, and are available in a variety of formats. The contractor maintains and sells to requesters a catalog of available images which is updated periodically.

     Newell Color
     221 North Westmoreland Avenue
     Los Angeles, California 90064-4892
     (213) 380-2980 ext 269, Fax: (213) 739-6984
Videotapes of released Magellan materials can be purchased at nominal cost from a second JPL contractor listed below. Copies can be produced in a variety of video formats and standards, including PAL and SECAM. A list of the titles, identifying numbers, and running times of current Magellan videos is attached as an appendix.

     The Videotape Company
     10523-45 Burbank Blvd. 
     North Hollywood, California 91601
     (818) 985-1666, Fax: (818) 985-1013, Att: David Rodgers

The current tapes are:

Two additional videotapes which contain collections of imagery and computer graphics from several NASA scientific missions and may be of interest are:

     Magellan Project Office
     Mail Stop 230-201
     (818) 393-0600
The Magellan Project Office can provide assistance with questions which none of the other sources listed in this document can answer. However, in order to allow the Project to conduct the important work of operating the spacecraft and processing the data, please treat this source as your last, rather than your first, alternative. The Magellan Project Office is no longer soliciting nominations for Venus feature names.

     NASA Headquarters
     Washington, DC 20546
     (202) 358-0000
NASA Headquarters in Washington can provide some Magellan materials, assistance in answering questions, and help in locating sources. The specific address of each source should be added to the general NASA Headquarters address.
     Public Affairs Office
     Code S
     (202) 358-1547
The Public Affairs Office (PAO) can provide some Magellan materials, including lithographed prints of some of the imagery, and can assist in answering questions.
     Public Services Division
     Public Inquiry Coordinator
     Code PO
     (202) 453-8315
The Public Services Division can assist with inquiries about the Magellan mission and direct them to the appropriate sources.
     Code FEP
     (202) 453-1259
The Publications office can provide printed materials on the Magellan mission.

NASA Select

NASA Select is a television transmission network for both live and recorded programs about the entire range of NASA programs. It carries major events, such as launches, encounters with the planets, press conferences or presentations by NASA's researchers and engineers as they happen. Many of the programs are particularly applicable for educators.

NASA Select is transmitted from SatCom F2R, 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 13, C-band, 3954.5 MHz, vertical polarization, audio on 6.8 MHz. It can be received by most satellite antenna systems. In addition, many cable television systems carry NASA Select, or may be willing to add it as a public service channel at your request.

     NASA Select
     Associate Administrator for Public Affairs
     Code P-2
     (202) 453-8425

     Magellan Program Office 
     Code SL
     (202) 358-0308
The Magellan Program Office can provide assistance with questions which none of the other sources listed in this document can answer. However, in order to allow the Program Office to conduct the important work of managing the Magellan program, please treat this source as your last, rather than your first, alternative.

A "Traveling Exhibit" of Magellan images, videotapes, and digital imagery is available for public display to libraries, museums, and other public groups through a NASA Headquarters contractor.

     Science Applications International Corporation
     400 Virginia Avenue, SW
     Suite 810
     Washington, DC 20024
     (202) 479-0750, Facsimile (202) 479-0856


Educators interested in additional information about the Magellan mission will find the following sources most useful.

Teacher Resource Centers

NASA's Education Division supports Teacher Resource Centers (TRCs) at each NASA Center, as well as a large number of Regional TRCs in cooperation with educational organizations around the country. It also supports a center for distribution of audiovisual materials, the Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE).

The TRC at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory usually has a wider variety of planetary material than the other Teacher Resource Centers. It can be reached at:

     Jet Propulsion Laboratory
     Teacher Resource Center
     Mail Stop CS-530
     4800 Oak Grove Drive
     Pasadena, California 91109
     (818) 354-6916, Facsimile: (818) 354-8080
TRCs provide teachers with access to NASA's materials, including Magellan materials. In general, visiting teachers can browse through the materials, and the center can assist in duplicating materials, including slides and videotapes, in their collection (in particular, centers can copy videotapes onto a blank tape provided by the teacher.) It can also respond to requests by mail or telephone.

TRCs should be the principal source for educators interested in teaching material or suggestions for approaches to using the Magellan materials. The TRCs should also be able to provide assistance to teachers in understanding and using the materials beyond the ability of NSSDC. Each TRC should have some Magellan materials. Because of the logistical difficulties of distributing some of the materials, such as posters, the JPL TRC usually has a wider selection of materials on planetary exploration than other TRCs.

     NASA Headquarters
     Education Division
     Educational Publications
     Code FEP
     Washington, DC 20546
     (202) 453-1259
Requests for information about education programs based on the Magellan mission or for additional educational material to support teaching based on the Magellan mission can be answered by NASA's Education Division. In particular, the Educational Publications branch can provide a wide range of printed materials.


SPACELINK is an electronic information system for educators (a computer bulletin board) particularly oriented toward teachers interested in using NASA materials in their classes. It is operated by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. SPACELINK can be reached by a telephone modem or through the Internet network. It contains a wide variety of information, as well as software and digital image files in the GIF format, which are suitable for classroom computer display.


telnet: (
modem: (205) 895-0028

For additional information, contact:

     Spacelink System Administrator
     NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
     Mail Code CA21S
     Marshall Space Flight Center, AL  35812
     (205) 544-6360  Fax: (205) 544-5852

Members of the Press or Writers

Members of the Press or writers interested in additional information about the Magellan mission will find the following sources most useful. The first points of contact should be the Public Information Offices of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory or NASA Headquarters listed in the section above for the general public. In addition to the sources of images shown in the general public section, NASA maintains an image library particularly for the use of the Press and writers.

     NASA Headquarters
     Photographic Library
     Code PMD
     Washington, DC  20546
     (202) 453-8375

NASA Headquarters maintains a library of publicly released images from all NASA programs, including Magellan. Requests from the press or requests from publishers or authors preparing books for print can be provided without charge as 4x5 inch positive color or black and white transparencies. Requests for other formats or requests from other members of the public may be supplied at nominal cost. Visitors can browse through the collection to select images. Requests by mail or telephone for assistance in obtaining images can be supported to a limited extent.


Researchers interested in additional information about the Magellan mission, access to imagery or data collected, or detailed catalog information will find the following sources most useful.

The number of Magellan CD-ROMs has increased to more than 130 disks of digital radar image mosaics and 15 disks of altimetry and radiometry data. These disks cover most of the first two 243-day mapping cycles around Venus. Additional disks will be produced as quickly as possible. Imagery not yet available on CD-ROM is usually available somewhat earlier in photographic form from NSSDC.

The second images of some parts of Venus taken during Cycles 2 and 3, which form a stereo pair with corresponding images from Cycle 1, are now at NSSDC in photographic form. A number of stereo pairs have also been produced for press releases as "anaglyphs", with the two images printed together in red and blue. When viewed through red-blue glasses, these images appear in stereo. Press release images can be seen at RPIFs or obtained from NSSDC or Newell Photographic in many desired format.

Magellan has also collected data not involving the radar instrument. This includes:

These types of data will initially be distributed through the relevant PDS node.

     National Space Science Data Center
     Goddard Space Flight Center
     Coordinated Request and User Support Office
     Mail Code 633
     Greenbelt, Maryland  20771
     (301) 286-6695, Facsimile: (301) 286-4952
     E-mail: NSSDC::REQUEST or

The National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is the principal archive and distribution center for all NASA missions. It has all of Magellan's standard mosaic image products which have been released by the Project in both photographic and digital form on CD-ROMs. It also has press-released images, videotapes, software with which to display the CD-ROM digital images, planning maps of Venus, a fact sheet, and documentation.

NSSDC has the altimeter/radiometer data collected by Magellan in digital form on CD-ROM and in photographic form. It will have new maps of Venus as they are produced by USGS based on Magellan's data.

NSSDC's principal charter is to support data distribution to researchers. Requests from NASA centers, Federal, State, and local governments, and NASA-funded researchers are supplied without charge. Other requests are supplied at a nominal charge. NSSDC will consider waiving these charges for educational requests for a limited quantity of material if the requestor explains the need for such treatment.

NSSDC has the equipment necessary to supply special requests, such as large photographic enlargements. It has a limited staff able to assist with questions about the products or the identification of products showing a specific feature. It is not, however, able to support requests for extensive assistance either by researchers, the public, or teachers.

A general catalog showing the classes of materials available through NSSDC is available for on-line computer access. Requests for materials can be made through the on-line catalog, by electronic mail, or by telephone.

Regional Planetary Image Facilities

NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics program supports a group of Regional Planetary Image Facilities (RPIFs) around the United States, as well as overseas. A list of these facilities is attached as an appendix.

The RPIFs have a charter to support researchers in planetary science. In practice, they are open by appointment to members of the public. Each RPIF maintains a complete photographic library of NASA's lunar and planetary exploration, including Magellan materials. Visitors can browse through Magellan materials, including the CD-ROM digital imagery collection and videotapes. Although the RPIF cannot provide copies of this material, its manager can assist visitors in ordering the materials they have selected.

The RPIF at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory may have the broadest collection of Magellan materials most quickly. In practice, it is open by appointment on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to both researchers and members of the public. The RPIF houses a complete image library of NASA's lunar and planetary missions, including Magellan. Visitors can browse through Magellan materials, including the CD-ROM digital imagery collection and videotapes.

     Jet Propulsion Laboratory
     Regional Planetary Image Facility
     Mail Stop 202-101
     4800 Oak Grove Drive
     Pasadena, California 91109
     (818) 354-3343, Fax: (818) 354-3437

     Planetary Data System
     Jet Propulsion Laboratory
     4800 Oak Grove Drive
     Mail Stop 525-3610
     Pasadena, California 91109
     (818) 306-6130, Fax: (818) 306-6929
     E-mail: JPLPDS::PDS_OPERATOR or (

Researchers funded by NASA's Solar System Exploration Division can obtain Magellan materials through the Planetary Data System (PDS). PDS consists of a central on-line catalog at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a number of "nodes" located at research facilities with particular expertise in specific planetary research areas. The Geosciences Node at Washington University is particularly responsible for cataloging and supporting Magellan data. A list of the current Planetary Data System nodes for different research areas is attached as an appendix.

PDS provides an on-line central catalog showing the general classes of Magellan material available, and allowing the user to identify specific digital and photographic products. Requests for materials can be made through this central catalog. The requests are typically fulfilled by forwarding the request to NSSDC. Contact PDS to request an account.

The Geosciences Node provides a much more detailed catalog of the Magellan materials. This node can be reached through the central PDS catalog or directly. The Geophysics node also supports visiting researchers and provides image processing capabilities to use the digital imagery.

     Planetary Data System, Geosciences Node
     Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory
     Washington University, Campus Box 1169
     One Brookings Drive
     St. Louis, Missouri 63130-4899
     (314) 935-5493  Fax: (314) 935-7361
     E-mail: (
The Washington University PDS node provides a direct and knowledgeable source of assistance in using Magellan data through a Magellan Data Products Support Office. The purpose of the Support Office is to provide users with information about and assistance in getting Magellan data. Standard and special data products are supported, including digital products, photographs, slides, videotapes, and NASA Public Information Office (PIO) products. The Support Office serves NASA-sponsored scientists, other researchers and educators, and the general public.

The Support Office is staffed by researchers experienced in working with Magellan data products. The primary contact is Dr. Edward Guinness. The Office can answer questions such as what data products exist, where they can be obtained and at what cost, and how to read digital data products. The Office can provide the information necessary to complete an NSSDC order form and will help users place an order.

In general, a user is referred to NSSDC when the Support Office is certain that NSSDC has the product in question. The Support Office gives the user the phone number and/or electronic mail address of NSSDC, and helps the user determine exactly what to request. For a non-standard product, or when the Support Office is not certain that NSSDC has a product, the Office tries to locate information about the product and then calls the user back. It then does whatever it can to help the user obtain the product.

NSSDC personnel will refer a user to the Magellan Data Products Support Office in cases where they cannot help the user and know the Support Office can. If NSSDC is not sure the Support Office has the answer, it will work directly with the Support Office to find the information, and then get back to the user.

U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has a program to produce maps of the planets based on the best available data from NASA and foreign missions, including Soviet missions. The Venus maps currently available from USGS include maps based on data from NASA's Pioneer Venus Orbiter and the Soviet Venera 15/16 missions, which were available before the Magellan mission.

USGS has now started the production of new maps based on Magellan data. Additional maps will be produced over the next several years. All these maps will be available through NSSDC. NASA funded researchers can obtain maps directly by contacting:

     Ms. Jody Swann
     Planetary Data Facility
     U.S. Geological Survey
     2255 North Gemini Drive
     Flagstaff, Arizona 86001-1698
     (602) 556-7262, Fax: (602) 556-7090
All interested persons can obtain a listing of planetary maps from the same address. Those not funded by NASA can order maps by writing:
     U.S. Geological Survey
     Mail Stop 306
     Branch of Distribution
     Denver Federal Center
     P.O. Box 25286
     Denver, Colorado 80225
For more information, contact:
     Earth Science Information Center
     U.S. Geological Survey
     507 National Center
     Reston, Virginia 22092
     (703) 860-6045

Products Available

The following Magellan materials are currently available:

On-Line Computer Access

In addition to the on-line computer catalogs provided by NSSDC and PDS described above, Magellan information and digital imagery can be obtained through several computer networks.

SPACELINK is an electronic information system for educators (a computer bulletin board) particularly oriented toward teachers interested in using NASA materials in their classes. It is operated by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. SPACELINK can be reached by a telephone modem or through the Internet network. It contains a wide variety of information, as well as software and digital image files in the GIF format, which are suitable for classroom computer display.

telnet: (
modem: (205) 895-0028

NASA's Ames Research Center in California allows public access through the Internet network to a large collection of information on NASA's missions, as well as image display software, software to locate images in Magellan's collection of CD-ROMs, digital image files in a variety of formats, and captions for all the released (press) images. Magellan imagery is available in GIF and VICAR formats. In addition, the Magellan CD-ROMs are available in rotation with other NASA image CD-ROMs as a pair of publicly accessible directories.

ftp: (
user: anonymous

The PDS Geosciences Node at Washington University (described above) permits access through the Internet network to selected Magellan data and documentation.

ftp: (
user: anonymous
cd: /graphics/magellan

The Lunar and Planetary Institute near Johnson Space Center in Houston provides access through the Internet or SPAN (DECnet) to a number of services, including their RPIF image catalog, databases (such as a database of impact craters on Venus), newsletters, and abstracts of both past and future conferences. A series of menus provide guidance.

telnet: (
or set host LPI
user: lpi

Other Sources

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific, a non-profit scientific and educational organization, sells a number of Magellan materials, including a set of 20 slides with an information booklet, a teacher's newsletter, and a videotape.

     Astronomical Society of the Pacific
     390 Ashton Avenue
     San Francisco, California 94112
     (415) 337-1100, Fax: (415) 337-5205
Sets of 35mm slides with a short printed description of the images, or sets of slides with audio cassette tape narrations can be purchased from:
     Finley Holiday Film Corporation
     12607 E. Philadelphia St.
     Whittier, California 90601
     (213) 945-5325, Fax: (213) 693-4756
The narrated slide set is #JPL40-1. Note that the slides are each marked with a black dot, which should be placed at the lower left corner to obtain the correct orientation. Placing the printed label on the slides upright, as they are delivered in the set, will **not** give the correct orientation for all the slides.

JPL's Employee Recreation Club sells some Magellan materials, currently including a slide set with a short description of the images and a paper model of the spacecraft. The materials available change with time, and may include pins, badges, and other unique items.

     Jet Propulsion Laboratory
     Employee Recreation Club
     Mail Stop 114-104
     4800 Oak Grove Drive
     Pasadena, California 91109
     (818) 354-6120, Fax: (818) 393-6632
The Planetary Society, a non-profit organization interested in supporting the nation's planetary research program, sells a number of materials, including a videotape of Magellan computer-generated flights over the surface of Venus.
     The Planetary Society
     65 North Catalina Avenue
     Pasadena, California 91106
     (818) 793-1675, Fax: (800) 966-STAR or (818) 793-5528
The Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum sells a wide variety of unusual materials, including slide sets and videotapes on planetary exploration.
     Smithsonian Institution
     Air and Space Museum Shop
     4th and Independence Avenue, SW
     Washington, DC 20560

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