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Physics

Hopkins scientists readying mission to touch the sun

Hopkins scientists readying mission to touch the sun

Scientists have been trying to figure out how to explore the sun since the 1950s — such a daring mission was on a short list that helped spur the inception of NASA.

After nearly 60 years — not to mention millennia of solar worship, folklore and fascination — a spacecraft being built in Laurel will get closer to the sun's surface next year than any man-made object before it.

Engineers at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory are putting finishing touches on the $1.5 billion Parker Solar Probe, which will pass through the blazing shroud known as the sun's corona two dozen times over seven years.

Key to the mission is an engineering feat that created a 4.5-inch thick...

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