A NASA space probe to Venus, launched from the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1989 May. It went into a highly elliptical near-polar orbit around Venus in 1990 August and mapped the entire planet by radar with an average resolution better than 300 m. In 1993 its orbit was deliberately lowered and circularized by atmospheric drag, a process termed aerobraking, the first time such a manoeuvre had been carried out at another planet. In its new orbit, Magellan completed a map of the gravity field of Venus. The probe burned up in the planet's atmosphere in 1994 October.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1989-033B NASA information page.
http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/magellan/ Mission website at JPL
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.