Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

NASA and the German space agency, DLR, are working together to create SOFIA - a Boeing 747-SP aircraft modified to accommodate a 2.5 meter reflecting telescope. SOFIA will be the largest airborne telescope in the world, and will make observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest of ground-based telescopes. The observatory is being developed and operated for NASA by a team of industry experts led by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA). SOFIA will be based at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Federal Airfield near Mountain View, California, and is expected to begin flying in the year 2007. SOFIA is part of NASA's Origins Program.


First scientific Flight

End of Mission t.b.d.


first test flight on April 26, 2007 successful;
MPE terminated the involvement in SOFIA end of 2011

MPE Participation:

  • Field Imaging Far Infared Line
  • Spectrometer (FIFI-LS)

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