George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, FL
NASA today announced plans to exercise a contract option with the Boeing Company for a Delta II 7320-10 expendable launch vehicle to launch the Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer spacecraft. The firm-fixed price option is covered under the NASA Launch Services contract (NAS10-00-001) officially awarded by NASA's Kennedy Space Center on June 16, 2000 to Delta Launch Services, Inc., Huntington Beach, CA.
NASA's total launch services budget for the Swift campaign is approximately $50 million dollars.
Using multiple instruments, Swift is the first-ever spacecraft designed to detect, observe and characterize gamma ray bursts in several different wavelengths. It is designed to provide a definitive answer regarding the nature of gamma ray bursts and will also perform the first sensitive hard x-ray survey of the sky. Over the operating design life of three years, Swift will observe approximately 1,000 gamma ray bursts.
Swift is scheduled for launch September 2003 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.
The Swift Program is managed by the NASA Headquarters Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. The Swift spacecraft project is managed by NASA's Explorers Program Office, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.