Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Dolores Beasley
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1753)

March 14, 2000 - RELEASE: 00-39


NASA has selected the Gamma-Ray Burst Monitor (GBM) to be flown on the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission, planned for launch in 2005. This instrument will complement the primary instrument, the GLAST Large Area Telescope Flight Investigation, selected Feb. 28, 2000.

GLAST will explore the most energetic and violent events in a quest for the ultimate sources of energy in the Universe. Objects explored will include distant galaxies fueled by super massive black holes at their center, neutron stars and individual black holes that are the remnants of stars that have ended their life with an explosion (supernova), and many other stars at the extremes of mass and energy.

The GLAST mission also will explore the very high-energycomponent of gamma-ray bursts, which are one of the greatestmysteries of astrophysics. The Gamma-Ray Burst Monitor, in conjunction with the primary telescope, will provide the broadest energy coverage ever available on a single spacecraft for gamma-ray burst studies. Based on the results of previous missions,this energy coverage will provide crucial information for determining the nature of these illusive objects.

The Principal Investigator is Dr. Charles Meegan of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL. This investigation is a collaborative international effort involving a major contribution from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Germany. Co-Investigators include scientists from MPE and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, will manage the GLAST mission for NASA's Office of Space Science in Washington, DC. NASA's cost to develop the GLAST mission is approximately $200 million, which includes approximately $5 million for the secondary instrument.