European Space Agency ready to launch gravity probe

December 2, 2015
Artist's impression of ESA's LISA Pathfinder and its propulsion module after separation. Credit: ESA

The European Space Agency says it's preparing for the launch of a probe that will test technology for a future mission to measure gravitational waves.

The agency says the launch from French Guiana is scheduled for Thursday 0104 local time (0404 GMT).

Engineers had checked a technical problem that had been discovered in the Vega rocket and postponed the lift-off into orbit which was initially planned for Wednesday. ESA said in a statement the check had "provided satisfactory results."

Scientists hope the $450-million LISA Pathfinder mission will demonstrate it's possible to shield objects from external influences well enough to detect the minute effects of .

Explore further: European Space Agency delays launch of gravity probe

More information: Mission website: sci.esa.int/lisapf

Related Stories

Image: Lisa Pathfinder ready for launch

December 1, 2015

Final preparations are under way at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, for the launch of LISA Pathfinder, ESA's technology demonstrator that will pave the way for detecting gravitational waves from space. Liftoff ...

Image: LISA Pathfinder launch sequence

September 1, 2015

Scheduled for launch in late 2015, ESA's LISA Pathfinder will test key technologies for space-based observation of gravitational waves – ripples in the fabric of spacetime that are predicted by Albert Einstein's general ...

Video: Lisa Pathfinder mission overview

November 16, 2015

LISA Pathfinder will pave the way for future missions by testing in flight the very concept of gravitational wave detection: it will put two test masses in a near-perfect gravitational free-fall and control and measure their ...

LISA Pathfinder set for launch site

September 2, 2015

LISA Pathfinder, ESA's demonstrator for spaceborne observations of gravitational waves, is ready to leave for Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Video: Testing gravity—inside LISA Pathfinder

November 26, 2015

ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission is a technology demonstrator that will pave the way for future spaceborne gravitational-wave observatories. It will operate about 1.5 million km from Earth towards the Sun, orbiting the first ...

Recommended for you

NASA telescope studies quirky comet 45P

November 22, 2017

When comet 45P zipped past Earth early in 2017, researchers observing from NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility, or IRTF, in Hawai'i gave the long-time trekker a thorough astronomical checkup. The results help fill in crucial ...

Uncovering the origins of galaxies' halos

November 21, 2017

Using the Subaru Telescope atop Maunakea, researchers have identified 11 dwarf galaxies and two star-containing halos in the outer region of a large spiral galaxy 25 million light-years away from Earth. The findings, published ...

Cassini image mosaic: A farewell to Saturn

November 21, 2017

In a fitting farewell to the planet that had been its home for over 13 years, the Cassini spacecraft took one last, lingering look at Saturn and its splendid rings during the final leg of its journey and snapped a series ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.