A Space Oddity

Real life mystery beyond this world, in an IF flight?

I had this idea of doing a flight on the big island of Hawaii about 3 days ago, with it looking like Space Shuttle Atlantis was flying around by itself, in front on the massive Volcano that is most like the largest volcano on Venus.

The Magellan Venus Radar Mapper probe was launched by NASA JPL on Space Shuttle Atlantis (the Shuttle in IF), and, while orbiting Venus, returned more data than all previous NASA missions combined at the time.

It was so much data because it was imaging the entire surface of Venus (a planet the size of the earth) for the first time in high detail, previously hidden behind a permanent cloud layer.

What was found was astonishing: The largest number of volcanoes in the solar system.

But, I originally gave up on uploading this, as I thought the idea was maybe a bit too disconnected.

But today I was astonished to see a front-page news story about active eruption lava flows only just detected on Venus from the archival data from Magellan. This story appeared just AFTER I did this IF flight, and had only just had a conversation with my wife about volcanoes on Venus compared to volcanically very active Japan’s disproportional number of volcanoes on Earth.

I engineered the circuitry on the irl spacecraft that received and sent maneuvering commands, and transmitted all the exploration images while orbiting Venus. So this was a bit goose bumpy if not a mind-blowing bit of coincidence. So, I thought “I’m uploading after all”:

I think this was on solo, and very early or late (a few stars in the image somehow, and the cresent

moon), sightseeing flight from Hilo International

Volcanic activity on Venus revealed by Magellan images | CNN


Really Good pictures, history i love this topic! As a passionate of space 🚀 !!;

Good job 👍

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Thank you! And I just now realized, flying around those volcanoes some more, there is even more stunning scenery waiting to be captured than I was able to show.

Venus, though our “twin”, is a wild place!

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btw, this was the dish antenna on Magellan, while still in Atlantis’s cargo bay, before being sent on it’s way around the sun to Venus:

This was a “spare” antenna built at the same time and left over from the Voyager missions that first explored the outer planets in detail and are now still active beyond the solar system, still transmitting more than 20billion km from Earth (with signals taking about 20 hours between the spacecraft and earth, at the speed of light).

Their sibling produced dish antenna on Magellan was commanded to plunge with the spacecraft into the atmosphere of Venus, so whatever is left over is on Venus.

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A very original #screenshots-and-videos topic! And speaking of Venus, I managed to take a photo of it yesterday

The grainiest photo ever


That’s interesting but is there some distortion somehow? If undistorted it should be a crescent shape due to it’s proximity to the Sun and the fact it’s an inner orbit planet. How did you take this?

There definitely was some distortion. I confirmed that it was Venus but I think the autofocus of my camera just didn’t work because it was too dark

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Venus has certainly been unmistakably standing out around sunset recently. And not that long ago Venus and Jupiter were in close conjunction in the sky, coming about a moon’s diameter apart.

This was kind of odd to see because the orbit of Jupiter and Venus are on opposite sides of the Earth, yet there they were side by side.

But If you looked at them with some magnification, Jupiter would be a disk and Venus a crescent, because Jupiter was much further, beyond the Sun.

So of the same batch of dish antennas (built together side by side), one was sent to the inner planet and two to outer planets, and at the conjunction recently you could see those opposite direction planets in the same location (funny to me anyway).


VFR discoveries to be made with IF scenery I think are only limited by one’s imagination.

If we could be near the foot of a volcano on Venus would it not look something like this (lava flow pattern and many smaller craters to the right)?:

Maybe compare it with the actual Venus image further above.

As far as your photo having that asymmetrical patch, it’s quite likely that is influenced by the shadowed part of the planet.

I have to correct myself. At the time you took the photo, Venus’s shadow is less of a crescent, but it’s always seen from Earth with a shadow (it’s never a round disk):
source: Venus after sunset: Greatest elongation on June 4, 2023 (earthsky.org)

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I’m still stunned by this coincidence.

I was a system level team member on NASA’s Magellan and submodule project leader. First job out of school, second project.

Years and years and no new news about NASA’s Magellan, and then just after I did a similar-to-Venus-volcano IF flight in Hawaii (with Atlantis which carried Magellan to orbit), the news broke about finding the active volcano on Venus. And on the very volcano being compared to Hawaiian volcanos.

I realize this overlaps with “real world aviation,” but it started with my IF flight, tipping the hat to the Magellan mission. Now I keep seeing news stories about it.

Now I see a team member for the upcoming NASA VERITAS mission, was the one who found the eruption from the Magellan data.

So the connection between the old Magellan mission and the upcoming Veritas mission is very cool.

“NASA’s selection of the VERITAS mission inspired me to look for recent volcanic activity in Magellan data,” said Robert Herrick, a research professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and member of the VERITAS science team, who led the search of the archival data. “I didn’t really expect to be successful, but after about 200 hours of manually comparing the images of different Magellan orbits, I saw two images of the same region taken eight months apart exhibiting telltale geological changes caused by an eruption.”
NASA’s Magellan Data Reveals Volcanic Activity on Venus | NASA

The odd thing was, people had been searching for this for years.

So you never know where your next IF flight might lead!

worlds tallest mountain including underwater

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That’s actually pretty amazing! Rightfully the tallest mountain on Earth.

On Venus the highest point on the planet is apparently: Maxwell Montes - Wikipedia

It would be at FL360!

But with all this amazing scenery in Hawaii, do you fly IF mostly there, or elsewhere for other variety?

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moatly hawaii and china, but always hawaii IRL lol

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