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NASA launches solar probe

ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION NASA launched its latest solar observatory, the IRIS (INTERFACE REGION IMAGING SPECTROGRAPH) spacecraft, Thursday (June 27), whose mission is to answer a fundamental question of how the sun creates such intense energy. The IRIS, a 7-foot-long, 403-pound spacecraft, is mounted to the nose of the winged Pegasus rocket for the climb into low-Earth orbit. It flew on its own after about 13 minutes from release. The spacecraft will point a telescope at the interface region of the sun that lies between the surface and the million degree outer atmosphere called the corona. It will improve scientists' understanding of how energy moves from the sun's surface to the glowing corona, heating up from 6,000 degrees to millions of degrees. The IRIS mission, short for Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, calls for the 7-foot-long spacecraft to point its ultraviolet telescope at the sun to discern features as small as 150 miles across. It

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