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Roughly the size of a small car, Parker will get nearly seven times closer to the sun than previous spacecraft.The closer, the better for figuring out why the corona is hundreds of times hotter than the sun's surface. "There are missions that are studying the solar wind, but we're going to get to the birthplace," Fox said.Scientists expect the $1.5 billion mission to shed light not only on our own dynamic sun, but the billions of other yellow dwarf stars – and other types of stars – out there in the Milky Way and beyond. Despite skepticism, NASA's Mariner 2 spacecraft proved Parker right in 1962 .The Parker probe's final three orbits – in 2024 and 2025 – will be the closest to the corona.
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