October 22, 2021

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Sounding rocket mission targets mysteries of solar corona

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Although some rocket-borne missions last years or decades, others, such as the cast of NASA’s Sounding Rockets Program, do their science during a short hop that doesn’t even reach orbit. 

The latest entry in that program, a payload designed to study the sun, lifted off from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on July 30. The mission, dubbed Marshall Grazing Incidence X-ray Spectrometer or MaGIXS, peered at the sun’s corona, the ethereal white halo visible when the sun’s face is obscured during a total solar eclipse. 

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