Akatsuki returns to Venus
The Venus Climate Orbiter Akatsuki, launched in May 2010, failed to enter an orbit around Venus in December 2010. Following that, Akatsuki once again approached Venus in December 2015 and the Venus orbit insertion was successful. Initially, the spacecraft entered an orbit having a period of 14 days with apoapsis of ~440,000km, but in order to decrease the apoapsis altitude and avoid a long eclipse during the orbit, the trajectory was adjusted. The change of trajectory operations have successfully completed. The apoapsis altitude is now ~360,000 km with a periapsis altitude of 1,000-8,000 km, and the period is 10.5 days. The equipment installed is in good condition and Akatsuki will provide scientific data on the Venusian climate system for two or more years.
These research results are reported in Nakamura et al, "Akatsuki Returns to Venus" and appear in the May 2016 edition of the planetary science journal Earth, Planets, and Space.