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The Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer is a three-telescope space observatory for studying gamma ray bursts (GRBs) and monitoring the afterglow in X-ray, and UV/Visible light at the location of a burst. The burst detection rate is 100 per year, with a sensitivity ~3 times fainter than the BATSE detector aboard the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory. The Swift mission was launched with a nominal on-orbit lifetime of two years.

Swift is a NASA Midex (medium-class Explorer) mission. It was the third to be launched, following IMAGE and WMAP.

Alternate Names

  • 28485
  • Explorer 84
  • MIDEX/Swift
  • Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2004-11-20
Launch Vehicle: Delta II
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 1470 kg
Nominal Power: 1040 W

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Astronomy

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. Joseph A. DezioProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Neil GehrelsMission Principal InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight Center

US Active Archive for Swift Information/Data

The Swift Data Archive at HEASARC

Other Sources of Swift Information/Data

Swift Project

Burst Alert Telescope (BAT)
Ultraviolet and Optical Telescope (UVOT)
X-Ray Telescope (XRT)

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