The Swift satellite houses three instruments – one to detect gamma rays, one X-rays and one ultraviolet and visible light. Its aim is to discover more about gamma ray bursts and since its launch in November 2004 it has observed over 500.
When the gamma ray detector indicates that a burst has occurred, the satellite rapidly orients itself in the direction of the gamma rays so that it can be examined with the other instruments. The position of the burst is also relayed to ground-based teams.
Image: The second stage of the Delta II rocket used to launch Swift is lifted up the mobile service tower prior to launch (NASA)
Swift aims to discover more about gamma ray bursts.
Patrick Moore and his guests discuss gamma ray bursts.
Sir Patrick Moore and his guests discuss the Swift mission and the gamma ray bursts that this satelite is designed to monitor.
BBC News reports on the Swift gamma ray burst mission.
Prior to launch, Fergus Walsh reports on the Swift mission to investigate gamma ray bursts.
Apollo scientists find that Newton didn't get it exactly right.
Although Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation is a good approximation of gravity, more precise measurements of the Moon's orbit show it is not a perfect explanation.
The Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission consists of a robotic spacecraft called Swift, which was launched into orbit on 20 November 2004 at 17:16:00 UTC on a Delta II 7320-10C expendable launch vehicle. Swift is managed by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and was developed by an international consortium from the United States, United Kingdom, and Italy. It is part of NASA's Medium Explorer Program (MIDEX).
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