by Staff Writers
Hannover, Germany (SPX) Jul 21, 2017
LISA Pathfinder has been switched off as planned on the evening of 18thof July, ending its successful mission which surpassed all expectations
After 16 months of science measurements an international team deactivated the LISA Pathfinder satellite on the evening of the 18th of July 2017. The gravitational-wave laboratory in space powered down after receiving the last commands in the evening and circles the Sun on a safe parking orbit.
LISA Pathfinder has tested key technologies for LISA, the future gravitational-wave observatory in space, and has demonstrated their operative readiness. LISA is scheduled to launch into space in 2034 as an ESA mission and will "listen" to the entire Universe by measuring low-frequency gravitational waves.
A unique moment
"After years of planning and the launch of the satellite in December 2015 we have been spending many days and nights since early 2016 paving the way for the future of gravitational-wave astronomy with LISA Pathfinder."
With its measurements - that surpassed the expectations of all scientists involved - LISA Pathfinder has shown that the required technology for the LISA mission is already working optimally. Now the international research team is working at full speed headed by Hannover scientists to realize the largest gravitational-wave observatory ever built.
The future of gravitational-wave astronomy with LISA
LISA will measure low-frequency gravitational waves. These are emitted by events such as supermassive black holes with millions or billions times the mass of our Sun merging at the centers of galaxies, millions of binary stars in our Galaxy, or exotic sources such as cosmic strings.
"After the end of the Pathfinder mission we can continue or work on LISA with plenty of enthusiasm. With LISA we will listen to mergers of supermassive black holes from the entire Universe and measure their properties," says Danzmann. "With this we will complement detections of earthbound instruments such as GEO600, LIGO, and Virgo and add to our incomplete picture of the dark side of the Universe."
Dear satellite, you go so quietly...
Paris (ESA) Jul 14, 2017
The final days of the LISA Pathfinder mission are some of the busiest, as controllers make final tests and get ready to switch off the gravitational pioneer next Tuesday. Following 16 months of scientific effort, LISA Pathfinder completed its main mission on 30 June, having demonstrated the technology needed to operate ESA's future LISA space observatory to study gravitational waves - ripp ... read more
Max Planck Institute For Gravitational Physics
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