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MICROSCOPE


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NORAD ID: 41457
Int'l Code: 2016-025B
Launch date: April 26, 2016
Source: France (FR)
Launch site: FRENCH GUIANA (FRGUI)

MICROSCOPE (Micro-Satellite à traînée Compensée pour l’Observation du Principe d’Equivalence) is a satellite that will test the equivalence principle described by Albert Einstein, with a precision on the order of 10-15. In space, it is possible to study the relative motion of two bodies in almost perfect and permanent free fall aboard an orbiting satellite, shielded from perturbations encountered on Earth (notably seismic), over the course of several months. To achieve this, two concentric cylindrical test masses made of different materials – one titanium and one a platinum-rhodium alloy – will be minutely controlled to keep them motionless with respect to the satellite inside independent differential electrostatic accelerometers. If the equivalence principle is verified, the two masses will be subjected to the same control acceleration. If different accelerations have to be applied, the principle will be violated: an event that would shake the foundations of physics.
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NASA's NSSDC Master Catalog

Two Line Element Set (TLE):
1 41457U 16025B   18174.54416987 +.00000001 +00000-0 +10738-4 0  9994
2 41457 098.2363 180.2273 0001237 124.3061 235.8252 14.53975272114588
Source of the keplerian elements: AFSPC