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NASA’s Swift Temporarily Suspends Science Operations

illustration of the swift
Swift, illustrated here, is a collaboration between NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, Penn State in University Park, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems in Dulles, Virginia. Other partners include the University of Leicester and Mullard Space Science Laboratory in the United Kingdom, Brera Observatory in Italy, and the Italian Space Agency.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

On March 15, NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory entered into safe mode, temporarily suspending science operations due to degrading performance from one of its three gyroscopes (gyros), which are used to point the observatory for making observations. The rest of the spacecraft remains in good health.

Swift is designed to successfully operate without one of its gyros if necessary; however, a software update is required. The team is working on the flight software update that would permit the spacecraft to continue science operations using its two remaining gyros. The team is working to return Swift to science observations as soon as possible.

Launched in 2004, Swift has been observing the high-energy universe for nearly 20 years. Stay tuned to nasa.gov/swift for more updates.


Last Updated

Mar 18, 2024

Jamie Adkins