LISA Pathfinder was successfully launched yesterday! Apart from that simply being great news as being an important step towards LISA and towards a better understanding of the gravitational universe, for MAQRO this is especially important because it solidifies the important technological heritage of MAQRO from LISA Pathfinder. For example, we also plan to use a VEGA launcher, and we intend to use a similar propulsion module to transport MAQRO to L1 after the start. This transfer is no mean feat in terms of mission operations, and it will form a sound foundation for MAQRO. Of course, it will be as important to see the science module in full action in a few weeks. It will further demonstrate the micro-thrusters also used in the GAIA and Microscope missions, and it will demonstrate the full operational capability of the spacecraft itself and the LISA technology package (lasers, optical modulators, DFACS, …), which also forms the baseline for the MAQRO spacecraft and instrument. In this sense, this mission is not only a pathfinder for LISA but also for MAQRO.
We congratulate all the people, who spent the last years and decades working towards this day and wish them the best for the future with LISA pathfinder and later LISA! Thank you for developing this incredible piece of technology!