spacecraft leaving cargo bay of space shuttle with curving earth horizon in the background
Source: NASA
Published: May 7, 2019
Historical Date: May 4, 1989

In the early evening hours of the Space Shuttle Atlantis' first day in space for the four-day STS-30 mission, NASA's Magellan spacecraft is released to begin its long journey to the planet Venus for an extensive radar mapping mission. The scene was photographed through Atlantis' aft flight deck windows with a handheld 70mm camera.

Magellan was the first planetary spacecraft launched from the Space Shuttle. The large dish antenna at the top of the spacecraft was used for the radar mapping of the planet.


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