Swift is a first-of-its-kind multi-wavelength observatory dedicated
to the study of gamma-ray burst (GRB) science. Its three instruments
will work together to observe GRBs and afterglows in the gamma-ray,
X-ray, optical, and ultraviolet wavebands. Swift, part of NASA's
medium explorer (MIDEX) program, is being developed by an
international collaboration. It was launched into a low-Earth
orbit on a Delta 7320 rocket on November 20, 2004. During its
first 2 years of mission, Swift has detected nearly 200
bursts, which represent the most comprehensive study of GRB
afterglows to date.
The main mission objectives for Swift are to:
- Determine the origin of gamma-ray bursts.
- Classify gamma-ray bursts and search for new types.
- Determine how the blastwave evolves and interacts with the
- Use gamma-ray bursts to study the early universe.
- Perform a sensitive survey of the sky in the hard X-ray band.
For more information please see the
NASA Swift pages
pictures taken during the Swift telescope calibration at MPE Panter
|| November 20, 2004 |
| End of Mission
|| 4+ years |
|| in Earth orbit |
| MPE Participation |
calibration of the X-ray telescope,