LIGO goes to space: ESA to proceed with LISA gravitational wave detector

Enlarge / The LISA project will consist of three spacecraft in a triangular configuration, exchanging lasers.EADS Astrium

On Thursday, the European Space Agency’s Science Programme Committee gave the go-ahead to the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or LISA project. This would mean the construction of the mission’s three spacecraft could begin as early as a year from now. While the interferometer would follow the same basic principles as the ground-based LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) experiment that first detected gravitational waves, the hardware would be placed 2.5 million kilometers apart, making it sensitive to an entirely new range of astronomical phenomena.


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