NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) mission is set to end operations by September 30, 2022 after discussions with its partners at the German Space Agency at the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR). This mission used a modified Boeing 747SP airplane that carries a reflecting telescope, and currently, it completed its five-year prime mission in 2019 and now finishing a three-year extension.
The discussions for ending the mission came about after the National Academies’ Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2020 evaluated SOFIA. It concluded that SOFIA’s science productivity does not justify its operating costs, while the plane’s capabilities do not significantly overlap with the science priorities the Decadal Survey has identified for the next decade and beyond. On a related note, the Boeing 777X foldable wing jetliner is still being tested.
- Take a journey of exploration with this LEGO NASA Space Shuttle Discovery (10283) model building kit for adults
- Enjoy hours of immersive building as you create both the Space Shuttle Discovery and the Hubble Space Telescope from NASA’s 1990 STS-31 mission
- Check out all the authentic features, including the opening payload bay, retractable landing gear, opening cockpit, moving elevons, space arm, plus 5 seats for the crew
- The Hubble Space Telescope LEGO build features movable solar panels and a hatch door, just like on the real thing
- Looking for the best gifts for adults who love a creative project? This space shuttle model will appeal to space enthusiasts and anyone wanting an immersive building challenge, making it a great gift
Moving forward, SOFIA’s data will be available in NASA’s public archives for astronomers worldwide to use. NASA will continue to advance the future of scientific discovery in infrared astrophysics, starting with the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope, as well as further opportunities recommended by the Decadal Survey,” said NASA.