On July 18th, after a successful demonstration of the technology needed to detect gravitational waves in space, the LISA Pathfinder satellite has been passivated.
It's been a very successful mission, with scientific results much better than required and expected. From the first measurements it was clear that the mission experiments were delivering the desired outcome as we already explained in a previous post (here).
Our group, in charge of the Spanish contribution to the mission, has contributed the Data and Diagnostics Subsystem, a critical system of the LISA Technology Package, the payload on board LISA Pathfinder.
More specifically, our subsystem provides the thermal and magnetic diagnostics, the radiation monitor, and the hardware and software of the Data Management Unit (the payload computer).
We have also participated in the design of the experiments and in the Data Analysis of the results, an ongoing task in order to fully exploit the excellence data that LISA Pathfinder has collected.
The mission operations were monitored from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt (Germany), from where the last command to the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft was sent on Tuesday, July 18th, by the mission Principal Investigator, Prof. Stefano Vitale. Some members of our group had the privilege to be present in ESOC during this special moment. Our group founder ,Alberto Lobo , was remembered during the ceremony talks.
More detailed information on the following links: