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Pasadena, Calif. (UPI) Aug 18, 2010
A U.S. institution is recommending a project to detect gravity waves as one of NASA's next major space missions in collaboration with the European Space Agency.
The National Research Council has strongly urged the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna be one of NASA's next two major space missions, to start in 2016.
Tom Prince, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology and the U.S. chairman of the LISA International Science Team, applauded the council's recommendation, a Caltech release said Wednesday
"We are very pleased with the NRC's recognition of LISA's extraordinary research opportunities in astrophysics and fundamental physics," Prince said.
"We are looking forward to unveiling a new window on the universe by observing thousands of gravitational wave sources," he said.
Observations of gravitational waves in space will answer key scientific questions about the astrophysics of the universe's beginnings and its physics, scientists say.
LISA would search for signs of the waves, ripples in the fabric of space and time formed by the most violent events in the universe, such as the collisions of black holes, and gather date about the nature of gravity that cannot be obtained using conventional astronomical tools.
The existence of gravity waves was predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916 in his general theory of relativity.
The Physics of Time and Space
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