LISA Pathfinder is an ESA technology test mission for the LISA mission. LISA Pathfinder is testing most LISA technologies in space and will validate a complete model of all physical noise that can be extrapolated to the full LISA mission.
LISA Pathfinder places two test-masses in a nearly perfect gravitational free-fall and controls and measures their motion with unprecedented accuracy. This is achieved through state-of-the-art technology comprising inertial sensors, a laser metrology system, a drag-free control system and an ultra-precise micro-propulsion system. All these technologies are essential not only for LISA - they also lie at the heart of any future space-based test of Einstein's General Relativity. The Albert Einstein Institute is one of the leading mission partners.
LISA Pathfinder was launched on December 3, 2015, at 5:04 CET onboard a Vega rocket from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. You can find an overview of the current mission status on the LISA homepage.
In early June 2016, the LISA Pathfinder Science Team published results from the first two months of operations. They showed that LISA Pathfinder has successfully demonstrated the technology for a gravitational wave observatory in space such as LISA.
Latest LISA Pathfinder vodcast
January 22, 2018
LISA has passed its Mission Definition Review with flying colours
July 19, 2017
LISA Pathfinder has been switched off as planned on the evening of 18th
of July, ending its successful mission which surpassed all expectations
June 22, 2017
Decision by ESA’s Science Programme Committee puts mission on track for 2034 launch
June 07, 2016
The perfect free fall in space with key contributions from Hannover researchers
March 08, 2016
Perfectly still satellite laboratory to validate key technologies for gravitational-wave detection in space
January 13, 2016
First science payload systems successfully switched on and tested
December 03, 2015
Major step towards a gravitational wave observatory in space on 100th anniversary of Einstein's General Relativity
November 27, 2015
AEI researchers are leading partners in LISA Pathfinder satellite mission scheduled for launch on December 2
September 01, 2015
The satellite is completed. LISA Pathfinder (LPF), the test mission to demonstrate new technologies necessary for the planned gravitational wave observatory eLISA, will be shipped to the spaceport in Kourou on September 3rd
, 2015, in preparation for launch.
June 23, 2015
Next steps: Shipment to Kourou and launch in autumn
May 16, 2014
First steps towards gravitational wave detection in space
August 30, 2013
Optical bench integrated into the core assembly
June 04, 2013
The heart of space mission LISA Pathfinder was successfully tested