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after 20 years of planning, ambitious solar mission about to launch

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after 20 years of planning, ambitious solar mission about to launch

enlarge/ at nasa's goddard space flight center, the parker solar probe is lowered into the 40-foot-tall thermal vacuum chamber for testing.nasashare this storysix decades have passed since a university of chicago physicist pondered why the tail of a comet, no matter the direction it traveled, always pointed away from the sun. from this and other observations made by astronomers, eugene parker theorized that there must be some kind of stream of particles flowing away from the sun. he called this the "solar wind."it turns out that such a stream of charged particles does exist, a moving plasma of electrons, protons, and other particles that varies in density and speed. over time, as observations mounted, astronomers moved from a position of s...