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News Picks : LISA Pathfinder launch scheduled for 2 December

By: Physics Today
18 November 2015

Nature: The Evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (eLISA) is a proposed European Space Agency mission designed to detect gravitational waves. To determine if the mission is technically feasible as designed, on 2 December the agency is launching LISA Pathfinder, as a proof of concept. On board LISA Pathfinder will be two 2-kg cubes of gold and platinum that will be completely isolated from everything except the force of gravity. Instrumentation on the satellite will measure the cubes' relative motions with what is hoped to be picometer accuracy. If successful, LISA Pathfinder will open the door for the full-scale eLISA mission in which two cubes would be similarly isolated but aboard two separate craft 5 million km apart.

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