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Green light for LISA

The LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) mission to investigate gravitational waves in space has successfully completed the preliminary studies and testing phase. This ESA project has thus  reached a major milestone: it has passed the stage of intensive testing by experts in the Mission Adoption Review process.

During the testing phase of the LISA mission which has successfully completed, the entire project was scrutinised by experts as part of the Mission Adoption Review. The ESA (European Space Agency) Science Programme Committee officially confirmedon 25 January that the technology was mature enough to proceed with the mission. The space antenna, which will be used to observe gravitational waves in space and detect collisions of supermassive black holes, will be launched around 2035.

More than 120 research institutions in Europe and the United States are involved in the LISA mission, including the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich.  UZH professor Philippe Jetzer and ETH professor Domenico Giardini have been working closely together on the project for more than two decade.

LISA will consist of three spacecraft, millions of kilometers apart, following the Earth on its orbit around the sun. The spacecraft will send signals to each other and the interference patterns will enable scientists to reconstruct the gravitational waves in space. (Image: AEI, MILDE)

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