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LISA Pathfinder with scientists in the clean room space test environment.

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LISA Pathfinder at the IABG test facilities in Ottobrunn, Germany
Final preparation work on LISA Pathfinder ahead of the space environment testing.

Sensors destined for ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission in 2014 have far exceeded expectations, paving the way for a mission to detect one of the most elusive forces permeating through space - gravitational waves.

The Optical Metrology Subsystem underwent its first full tests under space-like temperature and vacuum conditions using an almost complete version of the spacecraft.

The results exceeded the precision required to detect the enigmatic ripples in the fabric of space and time predicted by Albert Einstein - and did it by two to three times.