What is SOFIA? Is the world's largest flying observatory, NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is a unique space-science asset. SOFIA incorporates a 19-ton telescope with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters in a highly modified Boeing 747SP aircraft. The airplane flies astronomical science missions at altitudes between 39,000 and 45,000 feet, above the infrared-blocking water vapor in the atmosphere and clouds. Conducting observations in far-infrared spectra from any part of the globe. She (SOFIA) provides access to a spectral region not currently accessible by ground or space telescopes.

Image result for nasa sofia planeImage result for nasa sofia planeAccording to the SOFIA status update and mission report as of June 15, 2016; she is currently in New Zealand studying the skies of the Southern Hemisphere. Currently it undergoing maintenance and engine repair and is grounded until all work is completed. However, according to the press release, SOFIA will finish its new schedule of science flights. Starting from Christchurch on the originally scheduled end date July 20 and will return to its base of operations at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, on July 26. For more info about this wonderful flight telescope check out this NASA SOFIA website.


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