Lisa Pathfinder: 'Exquisite' gravity probe leaves UK

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Lisa Pathfinder: 'Exquisite' gravity probe leaves UK

#1  Postby DougC » Mar 01, 2015 3:22 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31642215
B.B.C. Article
British industry has completed construction of the modules that make up the Lisa Pathfinder satellite.
This remarkable probe will test the key technologies needed to detect gravitational waves in space.

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The Lisa Pathfinder contract represented a watershed for UK industry in space

If that can be done, it would open up black holes and other astrophysical phenomena to a completely new era of scientific investigation.
Lisa Pathfinder's modules were assembled at the UK arm of Airbus Defence and Space.
They leave for Germany on Monday, to go to the IABG consultancy just outside Munich for some final integration and testing.
From there, they will be shipped to Kourou in French Guiana for a rocket launch in September.

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Re: Lisa Pathfinder: 'Exquisite' gravity probe leaves UK

#2  Postby hackenslash » Mar 01, 2015 3:38 pm

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I had thought that LISA was to be shelved. It would be simply awesome if it goes ahead. It isn't only about detecting GWs, it could allow us to observe well past our current observational limit, which is restricted to the last scattering surface.
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Re: Lisa Pathfinder: 'Exquisite' gravity probe leaves UK

#3  Postby DougC » Jun 08, 2016 2:04 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36472434

B.B.C. Article
Gravity space mission passes big test
The mission to demonstrate technologies needed to detect gravitational waves in space has been a stunning success.
The Lisa Pathfinder satellite was sent into orbit to test elements of the laser measurement system that would be used on a future observatory.
Performance objectives were exceeded on the very first day the equipment was switched on.
"During commissioning, the requirements were being met already," co-principal investigator Karsten Danzmann said.
"We hadn't tweaked anything; we'd just turned everything on to see if the laser was running and, bang, there it was. And the performance has just got better and better ever since," he told BBC News.

Image

There is currently enormous excitement around gravitational waves - the ripples in space-time generated in cataclysmic cosmic events, such as the merger of black holes and the explosion of giant stars.
The existence of these phenomena was first confirmed last year at the Advanced Ligo facilities in the US.
They picked up a very subtle disturbance in their laser interferometers as waves from far-distant, coalescing black holes passed through the Earth.
The success has been lauded as one of the great scientific breakthroughs in decades.

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Re: Lisa Pathfinder: 'Exquisite' gravity probe leaves UK

#4  Postby jamest » Jun 08, 2016 2:14 pm

This is probably a very silly question, but would the existence of gravitational waves imply that gravity is a fundamental substance?
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