Short Description:

Swift is a first-of-its-kind multi-wavelength observatory dedicated to the study of Gamma-ray burst (GRB) science. Its three instruments 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, has been developed by an international collaboration.

Swift is expected to observe more than 100 bursts per year.

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.

Project Type:

Support of satellite mission

MPE Contribution:

calibration of the X-ray telescope 

software development


launch of satellite:   November 20, 2004     (Delta 7320 rocket)

actual status:          active in Earth orbit

end of mission:        t.b.d.


NASA Swift pages

High-Energy Astrophysics (web pages of the MPE department involved in the project)


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