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LISA Pathfinder - A Space Saga

Apr 09, 2021

This series of short clips takes you back 5 years ago and lets you relive LISA Pathfinder's milestones which began 5 years ago on 3rd December 2015 at 4:04 GMT and lead to its stunning success to make LISA happen. Let's celebrate this anniversary.


It is April 2016. The crucial LISA Pathfinder science operations have begun. LPF is now sending a continuous stream of data to the mission team on Earth. Every aspect of the future LISA mission is tested in a long chain of live experiments. But if LPF does not perform as expected, LISA will never launch...
Find out more about the LPF results at the LISA mission website:
https://www.lisamission.org/articles/lisa-pathfinder


It is March 8 2016. LISA Pathfinder is activated and ready. Now, the LPF science team must run a series of crucial realtime experiments to prove that the LISA prototype technology at the heart of the spacecraft works. Everything has been tested many times back on Earth, but LISA Pathfinder is now 1.5 million km away...
Find out more about the LPF science mission at ESA:
http://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/A_perfectly_still_laboratory_in_space


It is February 16 2016. The LISA Pathfinder spacecraft is in orbit around the Lagrange Point 1. The two testmasses at the heart of the mission payload must be released into free fall to begin the experiment. But has the locking mechanism survived the incredible stresses of the space launch? If this operation fails, the mission is over...
Find out more at
https://youtu.be/wUZ81wItsZI
http://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Test_cubes_floating_freely_inside_LISA_Pathfinder


5 years ago. It is Friday, January 22 2016. The LISA Pathfinder spacecraft is approaching the Lagrange Point L1 between the Sun and Earth. Here, space is quiet enough start the fragile experiment LPF is carrying. The mission: test the ultra-sensitive LISA prototype technology and prove that the future gravitational wave observatory in space can be built…
Find out more at http://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Operations/LISA_Pathfinder_arrives_at_its_worksite


5 years ago on this day… It is January 13, 2016. The laser on board the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft lights up for the first time. Tension back home on Earth is mounting. The spacecraft is already more than a million kilometers away and carries a delicate experiment. Decades of research have culminated in this mission, but so many things could still go wrong ...
Find out more at https://www.elisascience.org/news/top-news/laser-light-lisa-pathfinder.