Launch of NASA’s Swift spacecraft aboard a Boeing Delta II
rocket has been delayed at least 24 hours due to a concern with
Range Command-Receiver Decoder equipment on the launch vehicle. The
concern arose overnight after the "Safe and Arm" devices were
connected on the launch vehicle.
The decision to postpone the launch occurred as engineers were
making final checks prior to launch tower roll back at complex 17
on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
At this point, NASA says the launch is expected no earlier than
Thursday at 1209 EST.
Swift is designed to detect intense bursts of gamma-ray
radiation. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most powerful explosions
the Universe has seen since the Big Bang. They occur approximately
once per day and are brief, but intense, flashes of gamma
radiation. They come from all different directions of the sky and
last from a few milliseconds to a few hundred seconds. So far
scientists do not know what causes them.