Update from Venus Express deputy Spacecraft Operations Manager Adam Williams:
The power situation on Venus Express is better than anticipated, so we are taking the opportunity to activate the two instruments (MAG and ASPERA) which can be operated during aerobraking mode for the next two planning cycles (i.e. initially for around 1 week).
Apart from the scientific measurements which can be made, it will also allow us to better characterise the power used throughout the pericentre passage (i.e. the portion of each orbit when VEX comes closest to Venus’ surface), which will be useful information for later in the campaign.