LISA Pathfinder with Vega launch vehicle adapter
LISA Pathfinder launch composite on the Vega launch vehicle adapter, at IABG, Ottobrunn, Germany.
The launch composite, with the octagonal-shaped science module and the silver-coloured propulsion module, is the configuration in which the spacecraft will be launched.
The red conical structure at the base of the propulsion module is the main engine nozzle, a 400 Newton class liquid apogee engine (LAE) providing the impulses for the major delta-V manoeuvres.
The launch vehicle adapter – the black conical structure under the launch composite – is the fixture by which the spacecraft is mounted on the launcher.
LISA Pathfinder will launch on a Vega rocket, from Kourou, in late 2015.