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Waspie_Dwarf

Mission to Study the Sun Launched

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NASA Launches Satellite to Study How Sun's Atmosphere is Energized

WASHINGTON -- NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft launched Thursday at 7:27 p.m. PDT (10:27 p.m. EDT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The mission to study the solar atmosphere was placed in orbit by an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket.

"We are thrilled to add IRIS to the suite of NASA missions studying the sun," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for science in Washington. "IRIS will help scientists understand the mysterious and energetic interface between the surface and corona of the sun."

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Stargazer Airborne

The Orbital Sciences L-1011 and F-18 chase plane take off.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Pegasus Away

The Pegasus rocket is released from the L-1011.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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