SOFIA Quick Facts

Aircraft Model: Boeing 747SP (Special Performance)

Originally Built: 1977

First Science Flight: December 2010

Proposed Mission Lifetime: 20 years

Telescope Diameter: 2.7 meters (106 inches)

Wavelength Range: 0.3-1,000 microns

Instruments: Seven First-Generation Instruments include cameras, spectrometers and a high-speed photometer

Airspeed: Mach 0.85 (490 knots or 560 mph)

Observing Altitude: 37,000 – 45,000 ft (11,300 – 13,700 meters)

Average Science Flight Length: 10 hours (overnight)

Onboard Staff: Flight Crew: 3; Mission Crew: 2-6; Scientists & Educators: 5-15

SOFIA Fact Sheet

SOFIA Self Guided Tour

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