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LISA Pathfinder launches successfully on 3 Dec 2015
LISA Pathfinder lifted off on Ariane Spaceflight VV06 atop the sixth Vega rocket on 3 December 2015 from Europe's Spaceport, French Guiana. The satellite was placed in a low-earth transfer orbit. From there, LISA Pathfinder will use it's own propulsion module in a series of low-earth orbital maneuvers (multiple apogee burns or "slingshot maneuvers") to reach the velocity necessary to reach operational orbit around Lagrange point L1.
The Vega launcher lifted off at 04:04 GMT (05:04 CET). About seven minutes later, after separation of the first three stages, the first ignition of Vega’s upper stage propelled LISA Pathfinder into a low orbit, followed by another ignition about one hour and forty minutes into the flight.
The spacecraft separated from the upper stage at 05:49 GMT (06:49 CET). Controllers at ESA’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany then established control.
Over the next two weeks, the spacecraft itself will raise the orbit’s highest point in six critical burns.
The final burn will propel the spacecraft towards its operational location, orbiting around a stable virtual point in space called L1, some 1.5 million kilometres from Earth towards the Sun.
Links to media
Suche nach Gravitationswellen "Lisa Pathfinder" erfolgreich ins All gestartet
Seeking gravitational waves in space
02.12.2015 Daily Mail
Lift-off for Lisa Pathfinder! Mission to detect Einstein's gravitational waves successfully launches into orbit
LISA Pathfinder to seek out Einstein’s gravity waves, reveal true universe
02.12.2015 The Guardian
LISA Pathfinder set to launch, paving way for discovery of gravity's secrets
LISA Pathfinder will pave the way for us to ‘see’ black holes for the first time
Video of ESA press briefing