LISA Pathfinder reaches L1 on the Sun-Earth line

by | Jan 26, 2016 | ESA, Satellites, Science, Seradata News, Technology | 0 comments

Having been launched by a Vega rocket on 3 December 2015 to an initial 1540km apogee orbit, the science spacecraft LISA Pathfinder was raised via a series of six burns using a propulsion module/transfer stage to boost the orbit in steps in order to finally approach its final position in space.

On 20 January 2016, a final manoeuvre of the transfer stage placed LISA Pathfinder into a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point L1, where the gravitiation fields of the Sun and Earth are in balance at about 1.5 million km from Earth on the Sun-Earth line.  The spacecraft then jettisoned the propulsion module at 1130 GMT on 22 January 2016. Lisa Pathfinder is to calibrate test mass technologies for the proposed full Lisa mission which is designed to detect gravitational waves.

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