The TRACE spacecraft mated to the Pegasus XL rocket on which it will be launched.
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Courtesy of NASA
TRACING the Sun...
News story originally written on March 24, 1998
On March 30, 1998, the TRACE spacecraft will be launched. TRACE stands for Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (try saying that fast three times!). This spacecraft has four telescopes on it. The telescopes will focus in on the transition region of the Sun, that region between the cool surface
(only 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit!) and the corona
where temperatures are as much as 16 million degrees Fahrenheit.
The TRACE is being launched just in time for the solar cycle to reach its peak. TRACE joins a fleet of spacecraft studying the Sun during this active time (like the ACE and Ulysses spacecraft).
TRACE, which costs $49 million, is the third spacecraft in the Small Explorer series of small, relatively low-cost missions.
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