– First ~2 years – at this stage, the primary mission of VENuS is to provide imaging (the scientific mission
). Nevertheless, during this time, as part of the technological mission, IHET will be operated and tested once a month. Each test will generate orbit and other telemetry data that will be processed by the TMC. After each test, the orbit will return to its nominal value (circular 720 km, sun-synchronous, 2 days earth repeating).II
– Following ~6 month – VENµS will change orbit to a lower LEO (circular, 410 km, sun-synchronous, 2 days earth repeating).III
– Last period, minimum 1 year – during this stage VENµS will continue acquiring images at 410 km, while maintaining the orbit. To keep the high drag orbit, IHET will be activated every fourth revolution to correct the orbit.