SOFIA observatory mission badge

SOFIA observatory mission badge

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: SOFIA observatory mission badge. SOFIA is the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. It is a 2.5-metre infrared telescope that is flown in its 747SP aircraft to the stratosphere, some 10-50 kilometres above sea level. This allows the detection of infrared light that is normally blocked by water vapour lower in the atmosphere. SOFIA was jointly developed from 1996 by NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The first observations took place in May 2010. This badge commemorates SOFIA's first Trans-Atlantic crossing in September 2011, when it visited the DLR for the first time on 17 September 2011.

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