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A. Tielens (NASA-Ames)
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a 2.5-meter telescope installed in a Boeing 747-SP to be flown at altitudes higher than ~12 km. This allows observations in the stratosphere above virtually all of the atmosphere's water vapor. SOFIA's first generation scientific instruments span wavelengths from 0.3 to 700 microns. Upcoming engineering test flights will be followed by scientific test flights commissioning the observatory and instruments. In regular operations there are planned more than 120 research flights per year with as much as 8 to 10 hours of observing time per flight.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.