ESA launches LISA Pathfinder successfully

Dec

4

2015

LISA Pathfinder space probe was launched this morning at 5:04. The test probe is designed to investigate whether certain technology is indeed able to detect gravitational waves. The probe should start in 2016 to reach its final orbit the sun.

Gravitational waves were Einstein predicted in his theory of general relativity, but have as yet never been observed directly. With the current state of the art, it may be possible to take directly the waves still true. The waves travel at light speed through the universe and everywhere are going through.

The launch of the LISA Pathfinder took place from Kourou in French Guiana with a Vega rocket. The LISA Pathfinder has to test the technology before being sent around 2034 successor eLISA space. LISA stands for Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. On board the probe are two cubes of gold and platinum each 46mm. The cubes are 38 centimeters apart and in principle by any force except gravity affected.

During the mission, it is intended that the blocks in the most free fall ever end up. At the same time the relative position between the blocks are measured. This should provide a basis for measuring gravitational waves. In a message is explained by means of two interacting black holes on the ESA website for any shifts it goes. The waves caused by these two black holes would stretch a measuring stick of a kilometer long with less than the size of an atom.

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