NASA awards LISA mission laser instrument contract
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 05, 2022
NASA has selected Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp. of Boulder, Colorado, to provide the Laser Prestabilizaton System (LPS) for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) laser assembly.
The total value of the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is $11,906,675, and the period of performance is from Sept. 1, 2022, through April 1, 2025. The work will be performed at the contractor's facility in Boulder.
The LISA mission is a collaboration of ESA (the European Space Agency), NASA, and an international consortium of scientists. The LISA mission is planned to launch in the 2035 timeframe. The LISA Telescope and laser systems are being developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
NASA is in the technology development and study phase of the mission and will be contributing hardware as part of an agreement with ESA. LISA consists of three spacecraft arranged in a triangle and separated by millions of miles, trailing tens of millions of miles, more than one hundred times the distance to the Moon, behind Earth as it orbits the Sun.
These three spacecraft will relay continuous laser beams back and forth to detect gravitational wave signatures that come from distortions of spacetime. This contract pertains to the LPS used for frequency stabilizing the laser.
The future of NASA's laser communications
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Aug 12, 2022
NASA uses lasers to send information to and from Earth, employing invisible beams to traverse the skies, sending terabytes of data - pictures and videos - to increase our knowledge of the universe. This capability is known as laser, or optical, communications, even though these eye-safe, infrared beams can't be seen by human eyes. "We are thrilled by the promise laser communications will offer in the coming years," says Badri Younes, deputy associate administrator and program manager for Space Com ... read more
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