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SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy
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SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, during the first test flight with the telescope door fully open, on 18 December 2009 over the Mojave Desert in California. The 2.5 metre telescope, built in Germany, is visible in the opening in the fuselage of this Boeing 747SP. The test flight with the door open helped engineers examine, for the first time under experimental conditions, the movement of air in and around the telescope and the door.
Credit: NASA/C. Thomas.
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