NASA Provides Laser for LISA Mission

The first prototype of a laser sits on a testbed at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), headquartered in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. CSEM will test and characterize the laser, which will be used to conduct gravitational wave experiments in space for the LISA mission. (Credits: European Space Agency/CSEM)

By Karl B. Hille
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Greenbelt, Md. — Finding the biggest collisions in the universe takes time, patience, and super steady lasers.

In May, NASA specialists working with industry partners delivered the first prototype laser for the European Space Agency-led Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or LISA, mission. This unique laser instrument is designed to detect the telltale ripples in gravitational fields caused by the mergers of neutron stars, black holes, and supermassive black holes in space.


Voyage 2050 Sets Sail: ESA Chooses Future Science Mission Themes

Artist impressions of the themes proposed for ESA’s next series of Large-class missions, as part of the Voyage 2050 plan. The themes are moons of the giant planets, temperate exoplanets to the Milky Way, and new physical probes of the early Universe. (Credit: ESA/Science Office)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA’s large-class science missions for the timeframe 2035-2050 will focus on moons of the giant Solar System planets, temperate exoplanets or the galactic ecosystem, and new physical probes of the early Universe.

“The selection of the Voyage 2050 themes is a pivotal moment for ESA’s science programme, and for the future generation of space scientists and engineers,” says Günther Hasinger, ESA Director of Science.