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The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific is in our online store, filled with Earth and space science resources.
Image of Magellan orbiting Venus.
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On May 4, 1989, Magellan was carried into space by the Atlantis space shuttle, which launched it toward Venus. It arrived on Aug. 10, 1990 and inserted itself into a highly elliptical orbit around the north and south poles.

Over the next 3 years, Magellan used radar to penetrate the dense cloud cover surrounding Venus and map its surface. With every orbit it sent back strips of data, which were put together by scientists back on Earth into a 98% complete global map. Because Magellan viewed the Venusian surface from varying angles, 3-dimensional images of the planet's terrain were also possible.

After studying Venus' gravitational field for a year, Magellan then plunged into its atmosphere, testing a new technique for controlling surface descent, called aerobraking. Although it was crushed by the planet's pressure, scientists learned valuable information that would be used in future missions.

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Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books on science education!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF