LISA Pathfinder takes major step in hunt for gravitational waves 14 November 2011 Sensors destined for ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission in 2014 have far exceeded expectations, paving the way for a mission to detect one of the most elusive forces permeating through space - gravitational waves. Read more
LISA Pathfinder will pave the way for future missions by testing in flight the very concept of gravitational wave detection: it will put two test masses in a near-perfect gravitational free-fall and control and measure their motion with unprecedented accuracy. LISA Pathfinder will use the latest technology to minimise the extra forces on the test masses, and to take measurements. The inertial sensors, the laser metrology system, the drag-free control system and an ultra-precise micro-propulsion system make this a highly unusual mission. LISA Pathfinder is an ESA mission, which will also carry a NASA payload.
Picometre precision demonstrated by LISA Pathfinder tests 21 October 2010 An extensive series of ground tests on LISA Pathfinder's optical payload successfully achieved - for the first time on a spacecraft instrument - the incredible precision required to confirm the existence of gravitational waves. Read more