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Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission

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Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Explorer

The Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Explorer is a first-of-its-kind multi-wavelength observatory dedicated to the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Its three instruments work together to observe GRBs and their afterglows at gamma-ray, X-ray, ultraviolet (UV), and optical wavelengths. Swift is part of NASA's medium explorer (MIDEX) program and was launched in 2004. Penn State is the lead university partner in this project, building the X-ray telescope and UV/optical telescope and operating mission control. Swift has revolutionized our understanding of GRBs and continues to make new discoveries in both GRB physics and in a wide variety of other fields in which its rapid observations, flexible scheduling, and multiwavelength observational capabilities offer unique observing opportunities. Swift is one of the primary facilities used in the Department's research on High-Energy Astrophysics and Cosmology.