Status of the LARES and LARES 2 space experiments
Dipartimento Di Ingegneria Dell’Innovazione, Salento University, Via per Monteroni, 73100, Lecce, Italy
2 Centro Ricerche Enrico Fermi, Via Panisperna 89/A, 00184, Rome, Italy
3 Scuola Di Ingegneria Aerospaziale, Sapienza University of Rome, Via Salaria 851, 00138, Rome, Italy
Accepted: 10 September 2021
Published online: 13 October 2021
LARES and LARES 2 are two laser-ranged satellites of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to test general relativity and gravitational physics. LARES was successfully launched on 13 February 2012 and provided a number of tests of an intriguing phenomenon predicted by General Relativity called “dragging of inertial frames”, or “frame-dragging”, with an accuracy of almost one per cent. LARES provided other tests of gravitational physics, among which a test of the equivalence principle with an accuracy of about one part in a billion, using materials never tested before and at unprecedented new ranges. LARES 2, of ASI, is ready for launch in 2022, to provide tests of dragging of inertial frames with an accuracy of almost one part in a thousand and other accurate tests of gravitational physics. In this paper, the latest results obtained with the LARES satellite are reported and a design comparison of LARES 2 with respect to the LARES satellite is described.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021