First results from LISA Pathfinder about to be disclosed

May 25, 2016 Off Comments in Announcement by


Launched in December 2015, LISA Pathfinder travelled to its operational orbit, 1.5 million km from Earth towards the Sun, where it started its scientific mission on 1 March. At the core of the spacecraft, two identical gold–platinum cubes, are being held in the most precise freefall ever produced in space.

Placing the test masses in a motion subject only to gravity is the challenging condition needed to build and operate a future space mission to observe gravitational waves. Predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago, gravitational waves are fluctuations in the fabric of spacetime, which were recently detected directly for the first time by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.

Over the first two months of scientific operations, the LISA Pathfinder team has performed a number of experiments on the test masses to prove the feasibility of gravitational wave observation from space. These results will be presented at the media briefing.

Programme outline

Fabio Favata, Head of the Coordination Office, ESA Directorate of Science - Opening up the gravitational Universe for ESA’s Science Programme

Paul McNamara, ESA LISA Pathfinder Project Scientist -LISA Pathfinder: A new way to look at our Universe

Martin Hewitson, LISA Pathfinder Deputy Primary Investigator, University of Hanover - LISA Pathfinder optical metrology performance

Stefano Vitale, LISA Pathfinder Primary Investigator, University of Trento - LISA Pathfinder first results

Question and Answer sessions 



Social media: Twitter: @esascience and @ESA_LPF, hashtag #LisaPathfinder