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SWIFT MISSION
SWIFT MAIN
GAMMA-RAY BURSTS
GO FOR LAUNCH
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NASA FACT?

Our first detection of a gamma-ray burst was by a Vela satellite in 1967.


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+ NASA Home > Mission Sections > SWIFT Mission > Go for Launch

NASA EVENTS
MISSION UPDATE:

The Swift spacecraft lifted off aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from pad 17-A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 12:16:00.611 p.m. EST. Swift has successfully begun its mission to study gamma-ray bursts and identify their origins.

Launch Date: November 20, 2004
Launch Liftoff: 12:16:00.611 p.m. EST
Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Swift Webcasts: From Kennedy Space Center
  Science and Spacecraft Overview
Date/Time: November 15 at 2:30 p.m. (EST)
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  Launch Operations Overview
Date/Time: November 16 at 4 p.m. (EST)
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+ Swift Launch Coverage

For additional information refer to our Launch Pad, Processing and Firing Room pages.

The Mission
Swift is an agile spacecraft designed to investigate one of the universe's most elusive phenomena: gamma-ray bursts. Gamma-ray bursts are high energy explosions that occur nearly once a day from random locations across the sky. Scientists suspect the bursts maybe be produced by the birth of black holes or death of stars, but no one knows for sure. In order to find out, scientists need a spacecraft with powerful telescopes and quick reflexes to capture gamma-ray bursts as they flash and leave a lingering afterglow. Swift is precisely such a spacecraft.

The Rocket
Swift will be boosted into orbit aboard a Boeing Delta II from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Delta II is a multistage rocket powered by a single main engine and a variable number of strap-on external motors.



RELATED MULTIMEDIA
Bruce Buckingham and Chuck Dovale at Mission Control
Mission Accomplished!
NASA Launch Manager Chuck Dovale describes the successful launch and decisions for the short delay.
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KSC mission control
Spacecraft Separation is Achieved!
Congratulations are offered all around as Swift begins its journey to nimbly seek out fleeting gamma-ray bursts on the fly.
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Swift launches successfully
Swift Launches Successfully
A superb launch and flawless liftoff for NASA's Swift spacecraft to study the mystery of gamma-ray bursts.
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Interview with John Honig
Swift Spacecraft Processing
John Honig, Swift launch site integration manager, describes spacecraft transporation and preparation process.
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Interview with Rex Engelhardt
MIM Interview
Mission Integration Manager Rex Englehardt describes the mating of the spacecraft to the Delta launch vehicle.
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Swift GCN Webcast
Swift's GCN Sends the Signal
NASA's Gamma-ray burst Coordinates Network notifies observers within seconds.
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A Technician works on Swift instrumentation
The Swift Image Gallery
Images of Swift, gamma-ray bursts and more, provided by Goddard Space Flight Center.
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Swift preparations at KSC
Swift at Kennedy Space Center
See images and videos of the Swift spacecraft as it is prepared for launch.
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Behind the Scenes
Why do we send anything into space?
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