Studies under way for the LISA Pathfinder missionThe studies for the launch of the LISA Pathfinder scientific satellite of ESA, using a Vega launcher from the Verta batch, started at the end of September. The mission is scheduled for a launch window from October 2013 to September 2014.
LISA PATHFINDERThe Science Module was retrofitted with three new side-panels onto which the cold-gas micro-propulsion equipment had been integrated. Functional verification of the spacecraft is progressing as planned, with the completed version of the flight software and using the FM microthrusters driving electronics. LISA Pathfinder carries two sets of six cold-gas thrusters; the first set is in acceptance testing, whereas the second redundant set is being manufactured. Both the micro-Newton thrust force and thesub-micro-Newton thrust force noise have been confirmed in a dedicated facility by Onera (FR). Acceptance testing of the two FM Inertial Sensor Heads (ISH) has been completed. The testing campaign included bi-polar discharge of the test mass by means of ultraviolet light, contacting, photoelectric effect. In orbit, though, the discharge process will be without physical contact between the test mass and its surrounding electrodes. Thus, the ground verification requires novel modelling techniques. The ISH FMs will now be integrated on the LISA Pathfinder Core Assembly (LCA). The LCA includes an optical interferometry ultra-stable bench on its support frame, the two ISH, diagnostics equipment and support equipment. The LCA integration has advanced to the point where the next step is the integration of the ISH.The launch vehicle will be Vega, on one of the VERTA launches. The lessons learnt from the first Vega launches are being closely monitored to confirm the compatibility with the mission and spacecraft. Considering the approaching launch date, activities by the launcher authority, ESAC and ESOC are running at full pace.
Looking increasingly likely that in any race to discover Gravitational waves that this whole undertaking will be well beaten by Advanced LIGO if results pan out.http://gizmodo.com/rumors-are-flying-that-we-may-have-finally-found-gravit-1752259868
Quote from: Star One on 01/12/2016 09:36 AMLooking increasingly likely that in any race to discover Gravitational waves that this whole undertaking will be well beaten by Advanced LIGO if results pan out.http://gizmodo.com/rumors-are-flying-that-we-may-have-finally-found-gravit-1752259868A. There is no such race.B. The chances of Advanced LIGO indeed having observed gravitational waves is estimated (as quoted in the article) to be 15 percent at most.
what happens next to the spent propulsion stage? solar orbit or a distant Earth orbit?
Not directly related to LISA Pathfinder or spaceflight at all, but rumours about Advanced LIGO detection are getting stronger and more specific. Supposedly, the announcement will be next week (Thursday?).
The team are getting ready for the first test mass release #GOLPF
Test mass 2 is free and under control. Many happy faces in the PISA!! #GOLPF
2016-03-01 08:00:00UTC.....Science Operations have started!
LISA Pathfinder, however, is not capable of detecting gravitational waves itself. For this crucial technology demonstration, the two freefalling cubes are only 38 cm apart – too close to record the minute wobbles in the fabric of spacetime.The variation in distance caused by a passing gravitational wave is so small that a full-scale space observatory will need test masses separated by roughly a million kilometres, and be able to detect changes in that separation of about one millionth of a millionth of a metre.“The precision we need to attain for future observations of gravitational waves from space is so high that it demands an unprecedented understanding of the physical forces at play on the test masses,” says Paul McNamara, ESA’s Project Scientist.
“We are looking forward to demonstrating this thruster system and its ability to keep the two test masses extremely still,” says Charles Dunn, project technologist for the DRS at JPL.The results of LISA Pathfinder's precision experiments will pave the way towards the L3 mission in ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme, a future project that will be dedicated to investigating the gravitational Universe by means of a large spaceborne observatory.
LISA Pathfinder Exceeds Expectationshttp://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/LISA_Pathfinder_exceeds_expectations
The 22-nation European Space Agency has said a laser-interferometry mission featuring three spacecraft millions of kilometers apart and linked by lasers is their preferred next selection for Large-class mission.But while Lisa Pathfinder’s ability to eliminate most surrounding noise, including that caused by gas molecules, during its nearly three months of operations argues heavily in favor of a full-blown Lisa mission, other technologies need to be proven before the full observatory is given go-ahead approval.
Asked whether a national 2034 date could not be moved forward by five years, to 2029, Favata said the technologies challenges remaining are probably too formidable to make the earlier date.Favata said ESA will spend the next three or four years examining how close they are to reaching the technology readiness level for the Lisa mission components. Once a go-ahead is decided, a 10-year development effort would begin.
Favata said ESA expects NASA will also be a partner on the full Lisa observatory for 2034. Details are yet to be finalized. ESA’s Large-class missions are budgeted at aroun 900 million euros, plus whatever contributions are made by national European laboratories and national space agencies in Europe.
The first videos in the above two posts are both showing 400 error?
Quote from: Star One on 06/07/2016 09:32 PMThe first videos in the above two posts are both showing 400 error?they work for me
... both parties introduced the respective gravitational wave detection plans and agreed that there is a cooperation possibility in this area.
FINDING 4-9: The dissolution of the U.S. LISA project, and the attendant loss of science and technology funding, has severely impacted preparations for a space gravitational wave mission. If this situation persists, the options for significant U.S. participation in this revolutionary discovery area will be limited.
RECOMMENDATION 4-4: NASA should restore support this decade for gravitational wave research that enables the U.S. community to be a strong technical and scientific partner in the European Space Agency (ESA)-led L3 mission, consistent with LISA’s high priority in the 2010 report New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (NWNH). One goal of U.S. participation should be the restoration of the full scientific capability of the mission as envisioned by NWNH.
This week, at the 11th LISA symposium in Zürich, Switzerland, a NASA official said he was ready to rejoin the LISA mission, which the agency left in 2011. Meanwhile, ESA says it is trying to move the launch of the mission up several years from 2034. “This is a very important meeting,” says David Shoemaker, a gravitational wave physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “It feels like a turning point.”
NASA moves to rejoin sped-up gravitational wave missionQuoteThis week, at the 11th LISA symposium in Zürich, Switzerland, a NASA official said he was ready to rejoin the LISA mission, which the agency left in 2011. Meanwhile, ESA says it is trying to move the launch of the mission up several years from 2034. “This is a very important meeting,” says David Shoemaker, a gravitational wave physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “It feels like a turning point.”http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/09/nasa-moves-rejoin-sped-gravitational-wave-mission
Quote from: Star One on 09/12/2016 06:26 AMNASA moves to rejoin sped-up gravitational wave missionQuoteThis week, at the 11th LISA symposium in Zürich, Switzerland, a NASA official said he was ready to rejoin the LISA mission, which the agency left in 2011. Meanwhile, ESA says it is trying to move the launch of the mission up several years from 2034. “This is a very important meeting,” says David Shoemaker, a gravitational wave physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “It feels like a turning point.”http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/09/nasa-moves-rejoin-sped-gravitational-wave-missionI truly hope this time NASA keeps its word support.
On 7 December, LISA Pathfinder started the extended phase of its mission, an additional six months during which scientists and engineers will push the experiment to its limits in preparation for ESA's future space observatory of gravitational waves.
..., on 25 June, the first operations phase, using the LISA Technology Package (LTP), was completed. The LTP is a European payload consisting of the test masses, inertial sensors, and laser interferometer, and uses a series of cold-gas micronewton thrusters to move the satellite and keep it centred on the cubes, in response to external and internal forces battering them around.Operations continued with NASA's Disturbance Reduction System (DRS), an additional experiment which receives measurement input from the inertial sensors of the LTP but employs its own micronewton thrusters based on colloidal technology.Following completion of the DRS operations, the extended mission of LISA Pathfinder began on 7 December 2016, at 09:00 CET (08:00 UTC). It will last until 31 May 2017, making use of both the LTP and DRS payloads.
Jeff Foust – @jeff_foustShoemaker: goal of LISA tech dev work is to enable earliest possible launch date: as soon as 2029, depending on budget. #apsapril
Jeff Foust – @jeff_foustDavid Shoemaker, MIT: proposal to ESA for LISA assumes a 20% NASA contribution; max allowed by ESA. #apsapril
Jeff Foust – @jeff_foustPaul McNamara, ESA: LISA Pathfinder end of mission planned for April with maneuver to drift spacecraft away from Earth-Sun L1. #apsapril
A European consortium submitted to ESA in January a proposal for the development of the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission for ESA’s third large mission, or L3, competition. LISA is widely considered the leading candidate to be selected for that mission for launch likely in the early 2030s.LISA, as proposed, will consist of three spacecraft in a triangular formation, each 2.5 million kilometers from the other two in an orbit around the sun trailing the Earth. The spacecraft would shine lasers at each other, with interferometers on each spacecraft detecting minute distance changes caused by passing gravitational waves.The three spacecraft, with a combined mass of about 6,000 kilograms, including payload adapter, would launch on an Ariane 6 and drift to their planned orbit over the course of a year and a half. LISA would have a planned mission lifetime of four years, but with sufficient propellant on each spacecraft to operate for up to a decade.“LISA looks like it’s going to happen. It looks like it’s on a pretty firm track,” said David Shoemaker, a senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, during a meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) here Jan. 29.Shoemaker is chairman of the L3 Study Team, a NASA group looking at contributions NASA can make to the LISA mission. The LISA proposal submitted to ESA assumes NASA will cover 20 percent of the mission’s cost through instruments and other technologies.Parth of the confidence of Shoemaker and other scientists is linked to the announcement a year ago of the first detection of gravitational waves, by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), ground-based gravitational wave detectors in Louisiana and Washington. That discovery removed any doubt that gravitational waves exist, creating confidence that a mission like LISA could also successfully detect and study gravitational waves, and do so at frequencies not possible with LIGO.Another factor is the technical success of ESA’s LISA Pathfinder mission, a single small spacecraft launched in December 2015 to test technologies that could be used in a later LISA mission. The performance of the spacecraft, including a thruster system provided by NASA, exceeded expectations.Those tests not only exceeded the stability expectations of the LISA Pathfinder mission, but also approached the requirements for the full-fledged LISA mission. “This was a successful demonstration of drag-free control at a level necessary for a LISA-type gravitational wave observatory,” said Charles Dunn of JPL, project technologist for the disturbance reduction system flown on LISA Pathfinder, at the APS meeting Jan. 28.