NASA Swift GRB MIDEX program

     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 and optical wavebands. 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 surroundings.
  • Use gamma-ray bursts to study the early universe.
  • Perform a sensitive survey of the sky in the hard X-ray band.

     Swift is part of NASA's medium explorer (MIDEX) program being developed by an international collaboration. It will be launched into a low-Earth orbit on a Delta 7320 rocket in September 2004. During its nominal 2-year mission, Swift is expected to observe more than 200 bursts, which will represent the most comprehensive study of GRB afterglow to date.

NASA Swift GRB MIDEX program

Swift spacecraft with a burst in the background

- J. Nousek (ECoS)

- Current level: $26 M; $ 6 M inc. submitted

- Post launch: $5 M for extended mission life (2006 - 2009)
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Copyright 2004 Center for Space Research Programs at
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Program Director: John Nousek
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