HomeAstronomyNASA's flying SOFIA observatory on last New Zealand trip

NASA’s flying SOFIA observatory on last New Zealand trip

After eight years of science work, jet-turned-telescope SOFIA is preparing to take its final flight. But before its end of service on Sept. 30, the flying observatory is taking one last trip abroad.

Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and consists of a modified Boeing 747 aircraft with a special door built into its side that opens mid-flight to reveal observational instruments. Now, SOFIA is spending its final international deployment in Christchurch, New Zealand, where it has spent six previous deployments. 



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