Video: The flying observatory SOFIA
In Palmdale, USA, approximately 60 kilometres north of Los Angeles, is the home of the flying infrared observatory SOFIA. SOFIA takes off from here, expansively gazing into space as it flies across the night sky four days a week. ##markend##
The crew's work begins when twilight descends: SOFIA takes off for 10-hour scientific flights, criss-crossing the USA at a cruising altitude of around 12 to 14 kilometres. Once in the stratosphere, a hatch opens in the hull of the converted Boeing 747 SP, revealing the 2.7-metre telescope that gives the scientists an unobstructed view of the heavens.
In this short video, we present the joint NASA/DLR project. The full documentary on SOFIA will follow in the coming weeks. During the filming of the video in November 2016, we reported live from California on DLR's social media platforms: