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Safety & Security

N° 31–2015: Call for Media: LISA Pathfinder leaving for launch site

19 August 2015

Slated for launch by Vega in November, ESA’s gravitational-wave detection technology demonstrator is ready to begin launch preparations in September at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Members of the media are invited to join ESA and Airbus Defence and Space at IABG’s space test centre in Ottobrunn, near Munich, Germany, to get a final glimpse of LISA Pathfinder before it departs to the launch site.

LISA Pathfinder will help to open up a completely new observational window into the gravitational Universe, proving new technologies needed to measure gravitational waves in space. Predicted by Albert Einstein, these waves are ripples in the curvature of spacetime and are produced by massive celestial bodies. Understanding their signature will tell scientists a lot about black holes, compact double stars and other exotic objects.

Members of the media are invited to join ESA’s, Airbus DS and relevant LISA Pathfinder scientists and partners on Tuesday, 1 September from 11:00 CEST, at the IABG space test centre in Ottobrunn near Munich, Germany.

Programme outline at IABG, Einsteinstrasse 20, D-85521 Ottobrunn

(all times in CEST)

11:00–11:05     Prof. Dr. Rudolf F. Schwarz, IABG CEO


11:05–11:15      Alvaro Gimenez, ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration

Opening up the gravitational Universe for ESA’s Science Programme

11:15–11:25      Michael Menking, Airbus DS, Senior Vice President Earth Observation, Navigation and Science

Airbus DS delivering cutting edge technology to ESA’s science programme

11:25–11:35      Cesar Garcia, ESA LISA Pathfinder Project Manager

LISA Pathfinder mission overview and challenges

11:35–11:45      Ian Honstvet, Airbus DS LISA Pathfinder Project Manager

LISA Pathfinder and its challenges for industry

11:45–11:55      Paul McNamara, ESA LISA Pathfinder Project Scientist

LISA Pathfinder: A new way to look at our Universe

11:55–12:05     Stefano Vitale, LISA Pathfinder Primary Investigator, University of Trento and INFN

LISA Technology Package

12:05–13:00    Opportunity for questions, followed by a visit to the cleanroom to see the satellite

13:00–14:00    Buffet lunch and interview opportunities

Media registration

Please register by 28 August 2015 at with the following information included

 Accreditation form

First Name: __________________________

Surname: ______________________

Nationality: ____________________

Passport No.: ___________________

Issued by: ______________________

Valid until: _____________________

Media: __________________________________________________

Address: __________________________________________________

Tel: ______________________

Email: ___________________________________________

A valid ID-Card or Passport is mandatory to enter the event.
To enter the Cleanroom wearing of long trousers and sturdy shoes are compulsory.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU.

Two other Member States of the EU, Estonia and Hungary, have signed Accession Agreements to the ESA Convention and, upon ratification, they will soon become the 21st and 22nd ESA Member States, respectively.

ESA has established formal cooperation with seven other Member States of the EU.

Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more about ESA at

For further information, please contact:

ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99