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NASA Boeing 747SP Flying Observatory Resumes Test Flights

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Video courtesy NASA This 107 second video clip shows NASA’s flying observatory as it resumes test flights including the first in-flight opening of the telescope cavity door. The Next Generation Airborne Observatory Astronomical objects emit many forms of energy, which neither the human eye nor ordinary telescopes can detect. Infrared is one form of this invisible energy. SOFIA is an airborne observatory that will study the universe in the infrared spectrum. Besides this contribution to science progress, SOFIA will be a major factor in the development of observational techniques, of new instrumentations and in the education of young scientists and teachers in the discipline of infrared astronomy. NASA and the DLR, German Aerospace Center, are working together to create SOFIA — a Boeing 747SP aircraft modified by L-3 Communications Integrated Systems to accommodate a 2.5 meter reflecting telescope. SOFIA will be the largest airborne observatory in the world, and will make observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest of ground-based telescopes. SOFIA is an 80%/20% partnership with the German Space Agency (DLR). The Observatory is being developed for NASA and DLR by a team of international government and industry experts led by Dryden Flight Research Center; the Program is divided into two main “Projects”: the Platform Project (the aircraft and its subsystems), managed by DFRC, and the Science Project, managed by ARC. SOFIA will be based at NASA’s Dryden

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Comments (25)

  • signupful

    can anyone tell me that why infrared use fighter jet.

    Reply
  • cjracer1000

    Airbus makes pretty good aircraft, the ugliest is the A380 and even that doesn’t look too bad.

    Reply
    • Eren

      Yes, never postpone what your heart is ynnaeirg for… can be a trip, a new job, starting a family or simply enjoying the stars on a clear night…to live only in the now because we don’t know what tomorrow will be made of…Michelle.

      Reply
    • insurance health providers

      This is the perfect way to break down this information.

      Reply
    • Ting

      Hi Lorenz– I imagine a well made BM vorsien would beat this one. I began a MUCH more efficient and accurate SketchUp model of the same place– trying to imagine how to texture it the way BM does, before BM was public knowledge (sun and shadow as captured at essentially one moment in time). it would have been laborious to duplicate the effect manually, essentially painting it by hand. The one hard part with this for BM one might be the domes and possibly the monument in the lawn.

      Reply
  • cedarjet707

    God, even when directly in the service of the Military-Industrial Complex, the SP is still a total babe and hot rod. Whoo. I flew on SPs of Mandarin, China AL, Iranair and American. I miss her!

    Reply
  • krayzieillaskan

    This is an awesome plane!

    Reply
  • DudrickStudios

    just like airbus?

    Reply
    • Panneer

      No, I’m pretty sure this is a dfnfereit one. Not likely they could get the DSCOVR thing out of mothballs and onto a launch mission that quickly. It is an interesting question, though, what will happen to DSCOVR now.No idea what would motivate someone to lose this particular thing, though. Without good CO2 info, no CCS. Without CCS, the pressure on fossil fuels goes up.

      Reply
    • Houssine

      Indeed Zoe.. thank you. I too was surprised.. eacepislly at this strong connection between animal feed and soy, as if nothing else would do for animals. Surprised to hear how little soy goes to humans and that factoid about europe being ok with GMO soy for animal feed just not for humans. URban small farms are next on my topic list.. so stay tuned.. i hope youll get something out of those programs as well.

      Reply
    • auto insurance quote

      This is the ideal answer. Everyone should read this

      Reply
  • Fuzkerendude

    no problem! ¨
    And yea, that probably is pretty hard :)

    Reply
  • cjracer1000

    747SPs are ugly.

    Reply
  • airboyd

    Sorry, I meant to put the explanation video up first. It’s here

    watch?v=QiFI1y7xbxY

    It’s pretty interesting, not just because of the telescope, but because cutting a giant hole in a plane and using opening it in flight is pretty hard to do.

    Reply
  • Fuzkerendude

    ah ok :) Thanks man.

    Reply
  • Fuzkerendude

    dude, i use google countless times everyday, but sometimes, you’d rather actually interact with other people, rather than just search on google.
    Besides, you’re still not answering my question. “What were they testing?” “It’s a flying telescope.”
    BrotherBloat gave the perfect answer though. But anyways, thanks.

    Reply
  • Diastro3D

    It’s a flying telescope… Don’t forget, GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND! :)

    Reply
  • BrotherBloat

    I guess they were testing how it operates at the given altitude and speed. the forces involved act not only on the door, but also on the plane itself, as its geometry and drag factors change significantly.

    Reply
  • Fuzkerendude

    i know that, but what were they testing? You don’t just put a door on a plane just to have the door…

    Reply
  • Diastro3D

    This is exactly why it’s called a TestFlight.

    Reply
  • Fuzkerendude

    what was the point of opening the door an closing it again?

    Reply
  • Speedbird103

    awesome

    Reply
  • refats79

    @boobyboob69

    its a flying telescope

    Reply
  • boobyboob69

    so what exactly is this?

    Reply
  • pozycjonowanie

    I am quite interesting in this topic hope you will elaborate more on it in future posts

    Reply

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