On Page 743 of Gravity’s Shadow I record a prediction (the document records that it is a `guess’), made by Bob Spero. He said he thought that by the end of 2005, LIGO would be able to see inspiralling binary neutron stars at a range no greater than 7 Mpc. In fact the typical best range during a 24 hour period as at Dec 31 2005 was between15 and 16 Mpc.
The sensitivity of the Hanford 4km interferometer reached 8 Megaparsecs in August , a factor of only about two away from design sensitivity.
In August 2004 Ladbrokes, the British betting firm, opened a book on the chances of LIGO seeing gravitational waves before 2010. They initially set the odds at 500:1 but business was so brisk that within a week the odds had fallen to 6:1 and then to 3:1 before Ladbrokes closed the book! Scientists appear to be voting with their wallets.