Sofia Nears Clearance For Science Missions

By Guy Norris

PALMDALE, Calif. — NASA is moving closer to the start of science missions using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia) airborne telescope upon the imminent completion of envelope expansion flights with the aircraft’s telescope cavity door open.

The test, which depends on bad weather clearing through California this week, will be followed by a flight “with the telescope operating onboard, and ...

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