BERLIN - A Vega rocket bearing a European prototype satellite which will search for ripples in space and across time, a phenomenon predicted but never proven by physicist Albert Einstein 100 years ago, blasted into space on Thursday morning. The launch at 0404 GMT lit up the night sky from the launch site in French Guiana before the rocket disappeared into the clouds, the European Space Agency said. The trailblazing Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, or LISA, spacecraft will spend about six months testing a technique to detect ripples in space and across time.–Reuters

The ripples, known as gravitational waves, are caused by massive celestial bodies warping space, similar to a bowling ball rolling across a trampoline. The LISA Pathfinder mission costs about 400 million euros ($423.72 million).