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You are here News Science Delta IV Heavy rocket launches NASA's Parker Solar Probe to study the sun

Delta IV Heavy rocket launches NASA's Parker Solar Probe to study the sun

Delta IV Heavy probe headed toward sun

Some scientists scoffed at University of Chicago physicist Eugene Parker’s 1958 paper proposing the existence of a solar wind — a constant stream of particles flowing out from the sun that permeates the entire solar system.

Spacecraft quickly proved him right, and 60 years later, Parker looked on early Sunday as a NASA probe bearing his name rocketed from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a $1.5 billion mission to “touch” the sun and solve some of its persisting mysteries.

“All I have to say is, wow, here we go,” said Parker, 91, after the launch he watched from Kennedy Space Center. “We’re in for some learning over the next several years.”

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