VERITAS is a solar-powered Venus orbiter with many similarities to NASA's MAVEN spacecraft at Mars. After arriving at Venus, the mission will use aerobraking to help slow the spacecraft and reshape its orbit. Once it completes aerobraking, VERITAS will circle the planet in a near-polar orbit, at its final science altitude of 250 miles (400 kilometers).

VERITAS will carry a new technology demonstration to Venus, in the form of the Deep Space Atomic Clock-2. This ultra-precise timekeeping technology will help enhance autonomy in future spacecraft, as well as future radio science observations.

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Veritas Spacecraft The design for the VERITAS spacecraft, seen here, has much in common with NASA's MAVEN spacecraft, which has orbited Mars since 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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