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LISA Pathfinder space probe, computer artwork. Planned for launch in 2009, the Pathfinder is essentially a 'test run' for the official Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) experiment, which will take place some 10 years later, and will check the functioning of equipment that will be used by LISA. LISA is a joint NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and ESA (European Space Agency) programme. It aims to analyse the gravitational waves (fluctuations in space-time) generated by massive objects such as black holes and give insight into the birth of the universe.
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