-- Orbital-built Science Satellite Continues to Deliver Critical
Gamma Ray Data to
Swift is the only scientific satellite capable of rapidly detecting GRBs, the universe s most powerful explosions. It has observed over 920 of these ultra-high energy events over the course of 10 years of operations. During its mission, the Orbital-built Swift has made 315,000 individual observations of 26,000 separate targets, supporting nearly 6,200 target of opportunity requests by more than 1,500 scientists. The satellite has captured a magnetar explosion; watched a neutron star be torn apart by a black hole; observed hundreds of galaxies, exploding stars, asteroids, comets; and detected the most luminous event ever witnessed by humans, designated GRB 080319B, in 2008.
Named after the acrobatic bird that performs amazing in-flight
maneuvers, the Swift satellite deftly slews to detect very quick bursts
of enormous cosmic energy, said Mr.
Swift was designed and built to detect GRBs in gamma rays, X-rays,
ultraviolet and optical light. Prior to the Swift mission, little was
known about GRBs due to their very short duration. The program s
Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and
space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers.
The company s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles,
including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary
exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific
and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar
and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver
satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as
interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides research rocket
and satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to
Notes to Editors:
2. For a high-resolution image of the Swift satellite in production,
Orbital Sciences Corporation
Barron Beneski, 703-406-5528
Public and Investor Relations