LISA Pathfinder optical bench final tests before shipping to Astrium Friedrichshafen for integration
Towards a Gravitational Wave Observatory in Space
"We are really excited that the LISA Pathfinder mission is well underway for the launch date of 2015," said Dr Christian Killow. He helped to test a key component of LISA Pathfinder: the optical bench, part of the first sophisticated laser interferometer ever to fly in space. This technology will allow the construction of spaceborne gravitational wave observatories to detect binary neutron stars, black holes, and even the big bang itself.
The optical bench of the LISA Pathfinder mission passed with flying colors extensive testing at the Institute for Gravitational Research at the University of Glasgow. Scientists assured that the high-precision measurement system is ready to survive tremendous forces up to 35 times the gravitational acceleration on Earth during rocket launch.
University of Glasgow/IGR website:
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics website:
UK Space Agency website: