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Gehrz comments on SOFIA project

Bob Gehrz
Bob Gehrz

Professor Robert Gehrz is on the scientific steering committee for the 3 billion dollar NASA project which mounted a telescope aboard a jet airplane. Gehrz appears in a video about the stratospheric observatory for infrared astronomy (SOFIA) project.

SOFIA made it's first in flight airborne nighttime observations on May 26, 2010. The heavily-modified Boeing 747 took off and returned to NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, California. Astronomer's are now taking proposals for the astronomical community to use SOFIA. Expected to fly for 20 years, SOFIA will offer more than 1,000 cloud-free observational hours per year, far more than what is possible for ground-based telescopes. SOFIA has several advantages over satellite telescopes, in that it will allow astronomers to fly on board, controlling all aspects of the observation and it can be easily repaired. SOFIA will also be used an "ambassador" for NASA since educators, young scientists and members of the press will occasionally be allowed to fly on board.

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