|Operator||European Space Agency|
|Major contractors||EADS Astrium Ltd.|
|Mission type||Proof of concept|
|Launch date||Scheduled: 2015|
|Launch vehicle||Vega or Rockot|
|Mission duration||Nominal: 1 year|
|Orbits||Halo orbit around Earth-Sun L1 Point|
|Mass||1910 kg of which 1100 kg is propellant|
|Main instruments||35 cm Laser interferometer and Disturbance Reduction System|
LISA Pathfinder is the revised name for SMART-2 or Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology-2, an ESA/NASA space probe to be launched in 2015. The aim of the LISA Pathfinder is to test technologies needed for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, a joint ESA/NASA gravitational wave detector. It will contain one arm of the LISA interferometer, shortened from 5 Gm (5 million km) to 35 cm. In particular, it will verify:
- Drag-free attitude control of a spacecraft with two proof masses,
- The feasibility of laser interferometry in the desired frequency band (which is not possible on the surface of Earth), and
- The reliability and longevity of the various components—capacitive sensors, microthrusters, lasers and optics.
Spacecraft design 
LISA Pathfinder is being built by EADS Astrium Ltd. of Stevenage, UK under contract to the European Space Agency. It will carry a European 'LISA Technology Package' comprising inertial sensors, interferometer and associated instrumentation as well as two drag-free control systems: a European one using Cold Gas Micro thrusters (similar to those used on GAIA), and a US-built 'Disturbance Reduction System' using slightly different sensors and colloid thrusters that use ionised droplets of a colloid accelerated in an electric field. The colloid thruster system was built by Busek and delivered to JPL for integration with the spacecraft. 
The LISA Technology Package is being integrated by Astrium Germany, but the instruments and components are being supplied to Astrium by contributing institutions across Europe. The noise rejection technical requirements on the interferometer are very stringent, which means that the physical response of the interferometer to changing environmental conditions, such as temperature, must be minimised.
The spacecraft will first be launched into an elliptical LEO parking orbit. From there it will execute a short burn each time perigee is passed, slowly raising the apogee closer to the intended halo orbit around the Earth–Sun L1 point. If this mission is successful, it is hoped that the LISA mission will be launched a few years later, current estimates are around 2018.
Spacecraft operations 
- "LISA Pathfinder factsheet". ESA. 11 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- "LISA Pathfinder: Operations". ESA. 8 January 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "LISA Pathfinder: Mission home". ESA. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- Rovey, J. "Propulsion and Energy: Electric Propulsion (Year in Review, 2009)". Aerospace America, December 2009, p. 44.
- "LISA Pathfinder: Fact sheet". ESA. Retrieved 20 April 2009.