Magellan goes fourth at Venus

VenusNASA’s unmanned Magellan space probe, having completed three extensive campaigns of mapping the surface of Venus from orbit with cloud-penetrating radar, begins a fourth mission phase, this time sending constant engineering telemetry to Earth, where measurements of Doppler shift in the signal received allows Earthbound scientists to map the gravitational field of Venus. Magellan’s map-making days are over, having achieved a 98% complete map of the cloud-shrouded planet that it has been orbiting since 1990.