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George Diller                                                                                                        October 4, 2004
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

KSC Release: 72-04

Note to Editors/News Directors:
Press Opportunity for Swift To Be Held at KSC on Wednesday, Oct. 6

NASA's Swift observatory, that will pinpoint the location of distant yet fleeting explosions that appear to signal the births of black holes, will be the subject of a news media opportunity at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. Media representatives will be taken inside the clean room at NASA Spacecraft Hangar AE to see and photograph the Swift observatory. Swift is planned for launch in early November aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from Pad 17-A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions known in the universe, emitting more than 100 billion times the energy that the Sun does in a year. Yet they last only from a few milliseconds to a few minutes, never to appear again.

The Swift Mission Operations Center will be located at Penn State University and also includes international participation by Italy and the United Kingdom.

For this event, full clean room protocol must be observed. Those planning to attend are requested to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Clean room attire (bunny suits) will be furnished. Contamination control personnel will be on hand to clean photographic equipment with alcohol wipes. No suede, leather or vinyl camera cases are permitted within the clean room. Special bags will be provided for camera accessories. Please do not wear perfume, cologne or makeup. No graphite pencils, food, tobacco, chewing gum, lighters, matches, or pocketknives will be permitted inside the clean room. Electronic flash photography is permitted. The lighting in the facility is mercury vapor.

Spokespersons from the Swift mission available for questions and interviews will be:

Joseph Dezio, Swift Project Manager
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Neil Gehrels, Swift Principle Investigator
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Mark Edison, Swift Program Manager
Spectrum Astro

Those needing accreditation should contact the NASA News Center at 321/867-2468 by the close of business Tuesday, Oct. 5. On Wednesday, media will depart by bus from the KSC Press Site at 1 p.m. for Hangar AE on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Media who need badging for KSC access should go to the Gate 3 Pass and Identification building on State Road 405 south of Titusville at least one hour before departure time.


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