Magellan

Magellan
spacecraft

Magellan (patch)
MagellanMagellan (patch)

This page contains philatelic information on the Magellan spacecraft. Catalog numbers, years of issue, and notes are given when available. If readers know of additional information or images, please contact the authors using the e-mail addresses at the bottom of this page.

Originally called the Venus Radar Mapper, Magellan was renamed to honor the sixteenth-century Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480 - 1521).

Launch information
(found elsewhere)
Launch covers
(including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers)
(farther below)
Other postal items
(stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.)
(immediately below)
Magellan Magellan Magellan
Magellan (on other than Magellan launch covers)


Below is a list of Magellan spacecraft postal items (stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.).

CountryCatalog NumberType of ItemYear of IssueNotes on Content
Magellan
AbkhaziaMi348One of MS8 (Mi346-353 + label)1999(small) Magellan (in lower right)
Antigua and Barbuda2244d (Mi2931)
i2244d
One of MS6 (2244 (a-f)) (Mi2928-2933)
One of imperforate MS6 (i2244 (a-f))
1999"Magellan"
Barbuda1791d (Mi2391)One of MS6 (1791 (a-f)) (Mi2388-2393), Antigua and Barbuda 2244d overprinted2000"Magellan"
Bulgaria3625 (Mi3914)1991Depicted with Space Shuttle "Atlantis"
ChadBL402A
BL402B
In (upper-left) margin of SS1
In (upper-left) margin of imperforate SS1
2003Magellan (without solar panels or solar panels folded?)
Comoro Islands794 (Mi1000A)
i794 (Mi1000B)
More perforations than MS6 or SS11992"Magellan"; also Ferdinand Magellan (1480 - 1521)
Comoro Islands794 from ms6
i794 from ms6
One of MS6 (795a (like 790-795)) (Mi996A-1001A)
One of imperforate MS6 (i795a (like i790-i795)) (Mi996B-1001B)
Comoro Islands794b (BL377A)
i794b (BL377B)
On stamp of SS1 (like 794)
On stamp of imperforate SS1 (like i794)
Comoro Islands796E (Mi1084)794 overprinted new value1993"Magellan"; also Ferdinand Magellan (1480 - 1521)
Comoro Islands804P (Mi1112)794 overprinted new value (different)1993"Magellan"; also Ferdinand Magellan (1480 - 1521)
Congo (Republic)923 (Mi1278A)
i923 (Mi1278B)
One of MS3 (924b (922-924)) (Mi1277A-1279A)
One of imperforate MS3 (i924b (i922-i924)) (Mi1277B-1279B)
1991"Magellan"
Congo (Republic)923a (BL74)SS1 (923)
Congo (Democratic Republic)BL178A
BL178B
In (upper-left) margin of SS1
In (upper-left) margin of imperforate SS1
2003Also Ferdinand Magellan (1480 - 1521)
DjiboutiUnknown ms (Mi none)
Unknown ims
In (upper-right) margin of MS2 (a-b) [known illegal issue]
In (upper-right) margin of imperforate MS2 (a-b)
2013
DjiboutiUnknown ms fdc
Unknown ims fdc
MS2 on FDC
Imperforate MS2 on FDC
France1137 cover (Mi1530 cover)(Lollini) cachet on cover1976(early-design) Magellan (consistent with the Shuttle launch and the use of the "IUS" (Inertial Upper Stage))
France
United States
1137 cover
1710 cover
(Lollini) cachet on cover; also extra cancel for Shuttle Enterprise test flight 5)1976
1977
France1138 cover (Mi1531 cover)(Lollini) cachet on cover1976
Grenada2824f (Mi3939)One of MS6 (2824 (a-f)) (Mi3834-3839)1999"Magellan"
Guinea-BissauMi3186-3188 labelOne of six labels from MS3 (Mi3186-3188 + 6 labels)2005
Guyana2874f (Mi4925)
i2874f
One of MS9 (2874 (a-i)) (Mi4920-4928)
One of imperforate MS9 (i2874 (a-i))
1994"Magellan"
Indonesia1927c (Mi2061)One of MS10 (1927 (a-j) + 5 labels) (Mi2054-2063), or two of MS20 (1927m (2x 1927(a-j)))2001Venus topography from the Magellan spacecraft's microwave radar imager (microwaves pass through clouds), based on this image
Indonesia1927l (BL?)Two stamps and in (upper-left) margin of MS20 (different)
Indonesia1928 (BL165)In (left) margin of SS1
Malagasy (DR)970 (Mi1249A)
i970 (Mi1249B)
One of MS6 (972b (967-972)) (Mi1246A-1251A)
One of imperforate MS6 (i972b (i967-i972)) (Mi1246B-1251B)
1990"Magellan" remote sensing1
Malagasy (DR)970a (BL136)
i970a
SS1 (970)
Imperforate SS1 (i970)
Madagascar1304A (Mi1799aA-1804aA)
i1304A (Mi1799aB-1804aB)
On one of MS6 (a-f), 972b overprinted in silver
On one of imperforate MS6, i972b overprinted in silver
1996"Magellan"
Madagascar1304B (Mi1799bA-1804bA)
i1304B (Mi1799bB-1804bB)
On one of MS6 (a-f), 972b overprinted in gold
On one of imperforate MS6, i972b overprinted in gold
MordoviaLocal_bOne of local post MS6 (a-f)1998
MordoviaLocal_ms6 fdcMS6 on FDC
RomaniaC119 cover (Mi2086 cover)(Pictorial) cancel and (green and blue printed) cachet on cover1989"Magellan" trajectory diagram
RwandaUnknown c (Mi none)One of MS10 (a-j) [known illegal issue]2010"Magellan" (with booster attached and solar panels folded and one end in Space Shuttle cargo bay)
San Marino1869 (BL?)SS12012(possible) Magellan (but depicted above Earth rather than Venus)
San Marino1869 fdcSS1 and (pictorial) cancel on FDC
St. Vincent1476 (Mi1728)
i1476

Imperforate
1991"Magellan"
St. Vincent1476 specimen1476 overprinted "specimen"
Sierra Leone1074f (Mi1262)One of MS9 (1074 (a-f)) (Mi1257-1265)1989"Magellan"
Sierra Leone1074f specimenOne of MS9 (1074 specimen (a-f))
Sierra LeoneMi12962-12965_ms4MS4 (Mi12962-12965)2020"30th anniv. of Magellan space probe reaching Venus"
Sierra LeoneBL2068SS1
Tanzania564 (BL106)In (upper-left) margin of SS11990(mis-spelled "Magellean" in text)
Tanzania1324 (Mi2022)1994Magellan (with booster attached and solar panels folded)
UkraineNone(Pictorial) cancel2005Depicted with Space Shuttle
United StatesNone(Mercury-Venus Station pictorial) cancel on cover1991"Magellan" event?
United States2568 fdc
2569 cover

(Mercury-Venus Station pictorial) cancel on cover
1991
1991
"Magellan" event?
United States2569 fdc
2568 cover

(Mercury-Venus Station pictorial) cancel on cover
1991
1991
"Magellan" event?
United StatesNone(Zazzle.com) personalized postage2014"Magellan" mission patch
United States5070 fdc (Mi5244 fdc)(Dave Curtis) cachet on FDC2016"Magellan"

1Magellan's primary mission was to make observations of Venus' geology and topography, which it did through the use of its synthetic aperture radar and radar altimeter. The radar microwaves passed through the planet's clouds to the surface and were reflected back to the spacecraft. There was also a radiometry mode, in which the high-gain antenna recorded the planet's microwave radiothermal emissions, from which estimates of its surface temperature could be obtained. The right margin of the SS1 shows a schematic depiction of the radiometry mode.


Below is a list of Magellan spacecraft launch covers (including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers).

CountryCancel DateCancel LocationType of ItemNotes on Content
Magellan (pre-launch events)
United States1989-04-28La Verne CA(JPL blue rubber-stamp) cachet on cover, also backSTS-30R pre-launch: "launch scrubbed"
1989-05-04: Magellan (deployed by STS-30R)
United States1989-05-04Houston TX(Boudwin green and blue rubber-stamp) cachet (and signature) on (airmail) coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Houston TX(Colorano silk) cachet on coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Houston TX(Green printed) cachet on coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Kennedy Space Center FL(Mission patch) cachet on coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Kennedy Space Center FL(STS mission patch) cachet on cover, also insertSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Pasadena CA(JPL blue and black printed) cachet (and signature) on coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Pasadena CA(JPL purple and magenta printed) cachet on coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Pasadena CA(JPL dark-blue rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Cape Canaveral FL(Boudwin blue and red-brown and black rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Marianna FL(Boudwin green and red and purple rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Viroqua WI(Boudwin red and blue and purple rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Southhampton NY(Brown and purple and blue rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Houston TX(Magenta rubber-stamp and multi-color printed) cachet on coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Kennedy Space Center FL(Black printed) cachet on coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Kennedy Space Center FL(Colorano silk) cachet on coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Houston TX(Colorano silk) cachet on coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Colorano silk) cachet on coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-04Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Colorano silk) cachet on coverSTS-30R launch; Magellan deployed
United States1989-05-05Houston TX(NASA photo) cachet on cover(possible) image of thunderstorm tops as part of the MLE1 experiment conducted by the STS-30R mission
United States1989-05-08Edwards AFB, CA(Colorano silk) cachet on coverSTS-30R landing
Magellan (events)
United States1990-08-10Houston TX(Colorano silk) cachet on coverVenus orbit insertion
Magellan (anniversaries)
United States2010-08-10Sagamore Beach MA(Coverscape) cachet on cover20th anniv. Venus orbit insertion (text incorrectly reads "landed on planet Venus", Magellan never landed on Venus)
Magellan (on other than Magellan launch covers)
United States2011-07-08
2011-07-21
Kennedy Space Center FL
Kennedy Space Center FL
(Black printed) back of STS-135 launch and landing cover, also front"Magellan"

1The Mesoscale Lightning Experiment (MLE) was designed to obtain nighttime images of lightning in an attempt to better understand the effects of lightning discharges on each other, on nearby storm systems, on storm microbursts and wind patterns, and other interrelationships over an extremely large geographical area. The MLE employed payload bay color video cameras and a 35 mm handheld still picture camera to observe lightning discharges at night from active storms.


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Updated: 2024-04-01