ON-SCREEN TEXT: A Day In the Life Of a NASA Satellite Team with Regina Caputo, Observatory Project Scientist Regina Caputo: So, Swift is an observatory, and it was launched about 15 years ago 3 00:00:09,884 --> 00:00:13,638 and it's designed to study gamma-ray bursts, 4 00:00:13,638 --> 00:00:17,559 which are the most powerful explosions in the universe. 5 00:00:17,559 --> 00:00:21,104 Our day starts out like pretty much anyone else's. We get up, 6 00:00:21,104 --> 00:00:23,064 have some breakfast, go to work, 7 00:00:23,064 --> 00:00:26,443 and get ready to do the daily planning telecon. 8 00:00:26,443 --> 00:00:30,739 That's where we decide all the things that Swift is gonna look at that day. 9 00:00:30,739 --> 00:00:35,118 After we decide what Swift is gonna look at, we send up that schedule to the satellite 10 00:00:35,118 --> 00:00:39,080 uh, via ground stations, which are located all around the world. 11 00:00:39,080 --> 00:00:45,795 Swift will look at all of these various targets that we sent up-- sometimes 50 to 100 per day. 12 00:00:45,795 --> 00:00:50,300 But then, something could happen-- maybe it's a supernova, 13 00:00:50,300 --> 00:00:53,136 and then a ground-based telescope sees it. 14 00:00:53,136 --> 00:00:58,850 This observatory might want Swift to take a look to see what they can see, so they'll put in a request. 15 00:00:58,850 --> 00:01:02,771 When this happens, we get--the Swift team gets emails 16 00:01:02,771 --> 00:01:07,358 and pages--or texts, I guess texts, 'cause nobody gets pages anymore. 17 00:01:07,358 --> 00:01:12,530 Anyway, this case is evaluated against what we decided on earlier in the day, 18 00:01:12,530 --> 00:01:19,704 As well as other requests that people want us to observe. These also come from all around the world. 19 00:01:19,704 --> 00:01:24,626 If we decide to approve this request, um, what'll happen is 20 00:01:24,626 --> 00:01:30,965 we will send that information up to the satellite via the TDRS network, 21 00:01:30,965 --> 00:01:38,723 and this is a network of satellites, uh, orbiting all around, which allow us to talk to Swift at any time. 22 00:01:38,723 --> 00:01:44,062 Once Swift has looked at this new target, um, and the data was sent down to the ground, 23 00:01:44,062 --> 00:01:51,486 Swift will go back to doing what it was doing before, uh, perhaps following up on a gamma-ray burst in the afternoon. 24 00:01:51,486 --> 00:01:56,407 At the end of the day...hmm. So, there isn't really an end of the day for Swift-- 25 00:01:56,407 --> 00:02:00,537 it's always observing different targets that we've put into the schedule. 26 00:02:00,537 --> 00:02:05,375 Um, but for the rest of us humans, we have an end of the day just like anybody else-- 27 00:02:05,375 --> 00:02:10,296 uh, go home, go to bed, and think about the exciting day that we'll have tomorrow. 28 00:02:10,296 --> 00:02:13,675 ♪ 29 00:02:13,675 --> 00:02:18,304 [silence] ON-SCREEN TEXT: Explore Solar System & Beyond 30 00:02:18,304 --> 00:02:23,143 [silence] ON-SCREEN: NASA logo