June 26, 2019

Pioneering probe for gravitational wave observatory ends mission

July 19, 2017

The European Space Agency’s LISA Pathfinder spacecraft, now sailing around the sun on a trajectory away from Earth, was deactivated Tuesday after a nearly 18-month mission testing previously-untried lasers, vacuum enclosures, exotic gold-platinum cubes and micro-thrusters needed for a trio of gravitational wave observatories set for launch in the 2030s.

Q&A with Stéphane Israël, chairman and CEO of Arianespace

December 16, 2015

Arianespace chief executive Stéphane Israël discussed his company’s outlook with Spaceflight Now, touching on the light-class Vega rocket’s business prospects, the launch manifest in 2016, Arianespace’s view of innovation in the launch market, and his plans to compete in the next decade.

Take a last look at the Vega rocket’s middle-of-the-night liftoff

December 4, 2015

Videos and photos help tell the story of Thursday’s launch of Europe’s LISA Pathfinder spacecraft, carrying high-tech thrusters and ultra-sensitive motion sensors to be used in a future gravitational wave detection mission, from French Guiana aboard a nearly 100-foot-tall (30-meter) Vega rocket.

European probe blasts off on gravitational wave demonstration

December 3, 2015

A solid-fueled Vega launcher fired through a low cloud deck and sped into orbit from the South American jungle early Thursday with a pioneering European spacecraft that marks a key step in a century-long quest to detect elusive gravitational waves predicted to permeate the cosmos.

Live coverage: Vega rocket launches with LISA Pathfinder

December 2, 2015

A Vega rocket has blasted off with Europe’s LISA Pathfinder tech demo mission, a probe heading to a station a million miles from Earth to test systems for a future gravitational wave observatory. Liftoff from French Guiana occurred at 0404 GMT Thursday (11:04 p.m. EST Wednesday).

Vega/LISA Pathfinder launch timeline

December 2, 2015

Follow the major events during the launch of Europe’s LISA Pathfinder gravitational probe testbed, from liftoff of its Vega rocket booster from French Guiana through deployment into its initial orbit.

Finely-crafted experimental space probe ready for launch

December 1, 2015

A modest European-built spacecraft tuned to test the delicate, cutting edge technologies required to detect gravitational waves, a measurement that scientists say could yield unforeseen discoveries about the universe, is awaiting liftoff aboard a solid-fueled Vega rocket this week.

Vega booster crowned with gravitational probe pathfinder

November 20, 2015

After criss-crossing Europe for a decade, the LISA Pathfinder satellite testbed has reached its last stop before launch in early December on a mission to demonstrate the delicate technologies required to detect elusive low-frequency gravitational waves rippling through the cosmos.

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