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Title: The Magellan Venus Mapping Mission: Aerobraking Operations
Authors: Lyons, Daniel T.
Saunders, R. Stephen
Griffith, Douglas G.
Issue Date: Oct-1993
Citation: International Astronautical Federation (IAF-93-Q.4.409)
Abstract: The orbit of the Magellan spacecraft was circularized during a 70 day aerobraking phase, which ended on August 3, 1993. Shrinking the orbit apoapsis from 8467 km down to 541 km was required to obtain meaningful gravity science data at high and moderate latitudes. Aerobraking was the only way to reach this nearly-circular orbit, since the amount of propellant on board Magellan was at least an order of magnitude too small to circularize propulsively. This paper will describe the steps taken by the Magellan Flight Team to successfully aerobrake the Magellan spacecraft into the nearly-circular orbit. Magellan is currently in a 541 by 197 km altitude orbit around the planet Venus. This paper will briefly describe the Magellan mission history and hardware, the goals of the continuing Magellan mission, the exciting aerobraking phase, and other science objectives beyond the primary goal of producing a high-resolution global-gravity map of Venus.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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