Press conference about the LISA Pathfinder mission

Presentation of first results on June 7, 2016, in Hanover

May 25, 2016

Media representatives are cordially invited to a press conference in Hanover about the first results from the LISA Pathfinder mission. LISA Pathfinder is an ESA satellite mission which tests core elements of a gravitational-wave observatory in space.

The press conference takes place on June 7, 2016, at 11:15 CEST at the

Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) 
Institut für Gravitationsphysik of Leibniz Universität Hannover 
Callinstr. 38, 30167 Hannover 
(room 103)

Doors open at 11:00 CEST. The press conference in Hanover is a parallel event to an ESA press conference in Madrid.

Media representatives are asked to register by June 5 by email with  or by telephone (+49(0)511-762-19104). Please also let us know if you would like to conduct interviews with individual scientists after the press conference.

Gravitational waves are a consequence of Einstein's general theory of relativity. Their first direct detection on Earth was achived by the LIGO detectors in September 2015. Future gravitational-wave observatories in space will observe low-frequency gravitational waves not detectable on Earth. They will detect supermassive black holes with the mass of million Suns throughout the entire Universe.

LISA Pathfinder is a satellite mission to demonstrate the core elements of such a space observatory called eLISA. Since March, an international team of researchers has been using LISA Pathfinder as their laboratory in space. For the first time they have achieved the laser interferometry between almost perfectly free-falling test masses in space, which is crucial for eLISA. During the press conference, the results from these experiments will be presented.

Max Planck and Leibniz Universität researchers were pioneers in the conception of the mission. From the very beginning they have been leading partners in planning and development, in the mission operations and the data analysis, and also for the planned space observatory eLISA. The German contribution to LISA Pathfinder and the technological preparation for eLISA are funded by the Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

LPF is an ESA mission, with the European space industry under the overall integration responsibility of Airbus DS and research institutions from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Great Britain as well as NASA participating.


11:15 - 11:25 Karsten Danzmann, Director at AEI and Direktor of the Institut für Gravitationsphysik of Leibniz Universität, Co-PI of the LISA Technology Package: Die Zukunft der Gravitationswellen-Astronomie und LISA Pathfinder (in German)

11:25 - 11:30 Andrea Hoops, Secretary of State in the Lower Saxonian Ministry for Science and Culture, greeting remarks

11:30 - 11:35 Jens Reiche, National Project Manager of the LISA Technology Package: Die deutschen Beiträge zu LISA Pathfinder (in German)

11:35 - 11:40 Gerhard Heinzel, Group Leader “Space Interferometry” at the AEI: Entwicklung von Weltrauminterferometern in Hannover (in German)

11:40 - 11:50 Paul McNamara, ESA LISA Pathfinder Project Scientist -LISA Pathfinder: A new way to look at our Universe (ESA-Livestream from Madrid, in English)

11:50 - 12:00 Martin Hewitson, LISA Pathfinder Senior Scientist, Leibniz Universität Hannover: LISA Pathfinder optical metrology performance (ESA livestream from Madrid, in English)

12:00 - 12:10 Stefano Vitale, LISA Pathfinder PI, University of Trento: LISA Pathfinder first results (ESA livestream from Madrid, in English)

12:10 - 12:15 Karsten Danzmann: Zusammenfassung und abschließende Worte (in German)

12:15 - 12:30 Q&A session with members of the podium (Danzmann, Heinzel, Reiche) (in German and English)

from 12:30 possibility of individual interviews / reception in the institute's foyer / optionally: lab tours

For any further questions, please contact

Dr. Benjamin Knispel 
Press and Outreach Officer
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
Tel.: +40 (0)511-76219104

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