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High Energy Transient Explorer 2

High Energy Transient Explorer 2

HETE-2 undergoing mass property tests

The HETE-2 spacecraft during tests of it's mass properties. (Credit: NASA)

Lifetime: October 2000 - March 2007 (operational efficiency degraded)

Country (primary): United States

Primary Science

The High Energy Transient Explorer 2, or HETE-2, is designed to detect cosmic gamma-ray bursts and help determine their origin and nature.

Science Highlights

  • Discovered gamma-ray burst GRB 030329, which firmly connected gamma-ray bursts with supernovas
  • Discovered the short gamma-ray burst FRB 050709, which was the first short gamma-ray burst found with an optical counterpart
  • Established a subclass of gamma-ray bursts, the less energetic X-Ray Flashes
  • Sent first arcminute positions of gamma-ray bursts to the observation community within tens of secons of the onset of a burst.

Links to more information


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

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