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NASA's modified Boeing 747 SP SOFIA to be grounded for good

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Even as NASA publishes images demonstrating progress in the commission of the James Webb Space Telescope, preparations are being made to ground the Boeing 747-based Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) for good. The end of operations was announced on April 28, confirming that there would be no more mission extensions for the modified Boeing 747 SP and its telescope. Operations will cease "no later than Sept 30, 2022" once the current mission extension comes to an… (www.theregister.com) Ещё...

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mohenley
Mark Henley 23
Having been chief engineer on this program, it's a sad day to see it being grounded permanently. Two of the best capabilities of SOFIA were 1) It could, on short notice, fly to collect data on parts of the universe that were either impossible or not timely enough for Hubble or any other object limited by orbital mechanics; 2) Numerous payloads designed for specific data collections could be coupled to the telescope and could be changed out in a matter of hours for the next flight mission, again something impossible for any orbiting platform if the desired data collection was not possible with the instruments on the spacecraft.
I hope it goes to a museum that can display its history and results.
jbermo
jbermo 10
Please don't destroy/scrap a rare B-747SP.
eac3
eac3 7
This telescope was a quick response asset that could be deployed anywhere in the world to observe unique cosmic events such as eclipses, transits, solar phenomena etc. it is penny wise and pound foolish for NASA to terminate the program. Nothing in the inventory can accomplish what SOFIA could do.
ktemr20
ktemr20 5
I had an opportunity to tour SOFIA when it visited my college campus. They parked the plane on the tarmac of the adjacent airport. Students can take a shuttle from campus to visit the plane. I went on the plane and got to look at the observation equipment, its workstations, and stand on the flight deck. It's sad to see its life come to an end. One of my friends got to report on one of its mission for the college newspaper.

I share the same hope as fellow commenters. I hope the plane goes to a museum where its story can be shared with future generations.
royhunte92
Roy Hunte 4
SLOTraveler
Ev Forbes 4
Sad to see SOPHIA go. Victim of NASA's budget woes. Hopefully, to a museum, as so many have noted.
jahorvath
John Horvath 1
Formerly Pan Am B747SP N536PA, MSN21441 Clipper Lindbergh.
avionik99
avionik99 1
For all the money spent how much did we really gain from all this? Found possibility of water on the moon in 2020? Is that the biggest item for the money??
jfitzgerald2112
Joe Fitzgerald 3
309 papers is not a bad legacy. https://www.sofia.usra.edu/publications/sofia-refereed-papers/sofia-published-papers
bentwing60
bentwing60 1
The Hubble, after mods. covered the bases and the continuation of this was a budget prop!

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