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Picometre precision demonstrated by LISA Pathfinder tests

A European team working on the LISA Pathfinder mission has completed an extensive series of ground tests on the spacecraft's optical payload. The tests successfully achieved - for the first time on a spacecraft instrument - the incredible precision that will be required to confirm the existence of gravitational waves.
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Largest scientific instrument ever built to prove Einstein's theory of general relativity

Three spacecraft flying three million miles apart are to fire laser beams at each other across the emptiness of space in a bid to finally prove whether a theory proposed by Albert Einstein is correct.

Physicists hope the ambitious mission will allow them to prove the existence of gravitational waves - a phenomenon predicted in Einstein's famous theory of general relativity and the last piece of his theory still to be proved correct.
The mission, a collaboration between Nasa and the European Space Agency, will use three spacecraft flying in formation while orbiting the sun, with each housing floating cubes of gold platinum.

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At the core of ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission sit two small hearts. Each is a cube, just 5 centimetres across. Together they will allow LISA Pathfinder to lay the foundations for future space-based measurements that investigate the very core of Einstein's General Relativity.

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