We present the SVOM (Space-based multi-band astronomical Variable Objects Monitor) mission that the Chinese National Space Agency and the French Space Agency have decided to jointly implement. SVOM has been designed to detect all known types of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), to provide fast and reliable GRB positions, to measure the broadband spectral shape and temporal properties of the GRB prompt emission, and to quickly identify the optical/near-infrared afterglows of detected GRBs, including high-redshift ones. Scheduled to be in orbit in the second half of the present decade, the SVOM satellite will carry a very innovative scientific payload combining for the first time a wide field X- and gamma-ray coded mask imager for GRB real-time localizations to few arcmin, a non-imaging gamma-ray monitor, and two narrow-field instruments for the study of the GRB early afterglow emission in the X-ray and visible bands. The SVOM payload is complemented by ground-based instruments including a wide-field camera to catch the GRB prompt emission in the visible band and two robotic telescopes to measure the photometric properties of the early afterglow. A particular attention is paid to the GRB follow-up in facilitating the observation of the SVOM detected GRB by the largest ground based telescopes.Comment: 13 pages, 3 figures. To appear in a special issue of Comptes Rendus Physique "GRB studies in the SVOM era", Eds. F. Daigne, G. Dubu
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