SWIFT is MIDEX-NASA class mission, targeted at high-energy astrophysics and designed in cooperation with Italy and United Kingdom. Swift is a multi-band observatory which follows the experience acquired with the BeppoSAX satellite. It was successfully launched on November 20th, 2004 and all the on-board instruments worked immediately and regularly, producing data of high scientific quality.

So far hundreds of scientific works were published in peer referee journals, among which several articles announcing important discoveries in the prestigious Nature and Science journals. The scientific excellence of the results was recognised in 2007, when the scientific team who took part in the mission was awarded with the Bruno Rossi award by the American Astronomical Society.

Swift is a space observatory capable of observing, quickly and independently, explosive sources such as Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRB) and other transient celestial events, by using its three on-board instruments: the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), the X-Ray Telescope (XRT) and the Ultra Violet/Optical Telescope (UVOT).

From a scientific point of view, Swift aims at finding the origin of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRB), using them to study the distant Universe and carrying out a survey of the celestial sphere in the 15-100 keV band with the BAT instrument.

Italy contributes to the Swift project by providing the following instruments: mirror of XRT telescope and its calibration, the Malindi base and ASI-NET, scientific software and archive at the ASDC. The Italian scientific teams participate very actively in the scientific activities of the mission.

‣ News


The Prisma Mission opens to the community ‣

Now that the commissioning phase and the calibration/validation activities have been completed PRISMA is finally ready to open the mission exploitation by the user community. MORE...


The Earth’s tides move the continents ‣

Astronomical forces such as solid Earth’s tides play an active role on plate tectonics: this is the results of a research conducted by the Sapienza University of Rome, the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV). MORE...


Cheops is ready for hunting ‣

The scientific operations of the space mission Cheops officially started. The mission, with an important Italian participation, explores the Universe to give us an in-depth look at new worlds MORE...


IKUNS NanoSatellite, a virtuous example of the Italo-Kenyan Cooperation in the Space sector ‣

The project was presented on August 24th 2019, during an event dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci MORE...


Parmitano starts Nutriss ‣

Nutriss will be the first scientific activity of ASI in orbit for Luca Parmitano, astronaut of the European Space Agency on the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the third of six Italian experiments is ready to take off. MORE...