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F.E. Marshall (NASA/GSFC), M.M. Chester (PSU), Swift Team
Swift is one of two MIDEX missions recently selected for flight by NASA. It will detect 100s of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) per year and autonomously train its sensitive UV/optical and X-ray telescopes on the burst within 10 to 100 seconds. Swift can also respond to triggers from other spacecraft. All positions, on-board finding charts and X-ray spectra will be publicly available within seconds through the GRB Coodinates Network to promote ground-based observations of afterglows. The Mission Operations Center at Pennsylvania State University will schedule further Swift observations of the afterglows based on initial results from Swift and other observatories. Afterglows will be monitored for days to weeks. Data will be rapidly converted into standard formats, processed into summaries of the observations, and made available to the community through the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center. There will also be mirror sites at the U. of Leicester in England, and the Italian Swift Archive Center in Rome and Milan. All data will be publicly available with no proprietary period. The Swift data centers will also maintain a publicly accessible data base of results from other ground- and space-based instruments. Swift will be operated so that its powerful capabilities for exploring the nature of gamma-ray bursts are available to the entire community.