back to article ESA trying to 'bake, rattle and roll' gravity wave space probe

The European Space Agency is giving the LISA Pathfinder probe what it calls the “Bake, rattle and roll” treatment in the hope it teaches us how to make its successors even better. As the name suggests, LISA Pathfinder is a test mission for the planned three-vessel LISA space observatory, which will be positioned in a …

  1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
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    LISA Pathfinder has servered ESA well

    It will have allowed them to test design models against actual conditions as well as how well the hardware really handles them, allowing them to tighten up what they expect in terms of LISA's actual performance.

    These tests will give them data on what extreme conditions look like in the data. Useful to know if the real system starts misbehaving.

  2. frank ly

    Out of sight ...?

    "... in an orbit that should keep it clear of the Earth or Moon for a century or more."

    Why can't they set the controls for the heart of the sun, or something?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Out of sight ...?

      And use it as a starseed lure.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Out of sight ...?

      Star Trek/Wars/whatever are not accurate depictions of celestial mechanics.

      You can't just "turn to the sun". You have to change your orbit, which requires energy. Just like getting it into its current orbit took a shed load of energy.

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge

        Re: Out of sight ...?

        @e-mouse

        if memory serves, decelerating from Earth's orbit of the sun to hit it would require 17Km worth of Δv without gravity assists. Not trivial at all.

    3. Spudley

      Re: Out of sight ...?

      "... in an orbit that should keep it clear of the Earth or Moon for a century or more."

      Yep. What that tells me is that by the time it might become an danger to us, they will have forgotten about it and it will come as a big surprise to everyone when it suddenly crashes into our recently built Lunar colony.

  3. jpo234

    > positioned in a triangular formation 2.5km on a side so that the craft will be nicely isolated and therefore deliver more reliable results

    The LISA project site (https://www.elisascience.org/articles/elisa-mission/elisa-technology) says:

    "LISA will consist of three spacecraft in Earth-like orbits around the Sun. They will fly million kilometers apart in an equilateral triangle formation."

    Where do these 2.5km come from?

    1. codger

      million kilometers or 2.5km ?

      2.5km = 1 million km for very large values of 2.5

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