LISA Pathfinder to successfully achieve its mission

LISA Pathfinder in space. Credit: ESA/C. Carreau

We have exceeded not only the requirements set for LISA Pathfinder, but also the accuracy required for LISA at all frequencies: we are definitely ready to take the next step.” Karsten Danzmann*

We started our LISA Pathfinder Saga on June 18th 2015, and followed with you and the researchers involved, this exciting mission for exactly two years. The goal of LISA Pathfinder was to validate the technology that will be used for the future LISA mission. That is, having two test masses placed in each of the three spacecraft of the LISA constellation, which is designed to detect gravitational waves in space.

Nonetheless the LISA Pathfinder mission exceeded its objectives, and the LISA mission has just been selected as the third large-class mission in ESA’s Science Programme. Along with a third detection of gravitational waves emitted from the coalescence of two black holes, announced last month by the Advanced LIGO collaboration, we are definitively starting the era of Gravitational Astronomy.

The LISA Pathfinder mission performed its final tests and will receive its last command on July 18th 2017.

 

You can read everything about the achievements of the LISA Pathfinder mission on the ESA website:

http://sci.esa.int/lisa-pathfinder/59238-lisa-pathfinder-to-conclude-trailblazing-mission/

and

http://sci.esa.int/lisa-pathfinder/59262-lisa-pathfinder–not-resting-on-its-laurels/

This has been a splendid journey that we enjoyed following with you. And we can certainly expect more like this in the coming years.

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*Director at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, director of the Institute for Gravitational Physics of Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany, Co-Principal Investigator of the LISA Technology Package, and lead proposer of LISA.

Image: LISA Pathfinder in space. Credit: ESA/C. Carreau

One comment

  • Peter Gehrke

    Congratulations to this great success. It is inspiring and awesome to observe the progress of LISA (Pathfinder). As the LIGO cooperation publishes more and more results, gravitational waves enter the phase when no longer their sheer existence is the scientific finding but, what they reveal about our cosmos. At the same time the limits of LIGO become obvious, so the world is looking every more forward to LIGO.

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