NASA's Swift satellite was successfully launched Saturday from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The satellite will pinpoint the location of distant yet fleeting explosions that appear to signal the births of black holes.
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By the end of this day, somewhere in the visible universe a new black hole will have formed. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the most distant and powerful explosions known, are likely the birth cries of these new black holes.
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As a result of the expected but unpredictable technical challenges in developing an advanced new detector such as the LAT, the GLAST launch readiness date is now May 2007.
A session devoted to GLAST and its relationship to astrophysics in non-gamma ray wavelength bands was held at the 8th meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in New Orleans. Steve Ritz provided an overview of the mission and its scientific goals. Richard Mushotzky predicted that GLAST will bring gamma-ray astronomy to the level that ROSAT and ASCA brought X-ray astronomy, and discussed the synergy between GLAST and X-ray missions. Ann Wehrle pointed out that the community needs to plan for the one year overlap between Spitzer (an IR mission with consumables that limit the mission duration) and GLAST. Roger Romani discussed the radio surveys necessary before GLAST`s launch to catalog the pulsars and blazars (particularly Flat Spectrum Radio Quasars) that GLAST is likely to detect. Tom Stephens presented a poster on the GSSC`s support of the scientific community.
The Ground System Design Review was held at Goddard August 18-19, 2004, to evaluate the design of the different elements of the GLAST ground system and their interfaces. The review panel was impressed with the maturity of the designs so far before launch. The success of this review formally permits the implementation of these designs to proceed (although many `prototypes` have been created!).
The GLAST website has successfully transitioned to the NASA portal look and feel. We thank you for your patience while we completed this effort. If you encounter any problems or have any questions please drop us a note.
The GLAST Users` Committee (GUC) held its second meeting 8/9-10 at Goddard. The committee reviewed plans for the support of the user community and considered guest investigator program and data access policy issues.
The GLAST website will be transitioning to the NASA portal look and feel over the next few weeks. We thank you in advance for your patience while we complete this effort. Feel free to drop us a line if you encounter any problems or have any questions.
The Swift satellite, which will pinpoint the location of distant yet fleeting explosions that appear to signal the births of black holes, arrived at Kennedy Space Center today in preparation for an October launch.
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The GSSC Detailed Design Peer Review was held today. This is the last GSSC-only review before the Ground System Design Review that will be held 18-19 August.
The next GLAST LAT Collaboration meeting will be held at Stanford University - SLAC on September 27-29, 2004. The collaboration meeting will be followed by a one day symposium, sponsored jointly with the NASA GLAST Mission Science Working Group, on GLAST - Ground-based TeV observations during the GLAST era. This meeting will also be at SLAC.
The data challenge 1 close-out meeting will take place on 12-13 February 2004.
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