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NASA's SOFIA Flying Observatory Marks 100th Flight
On the afternoon of April 11, 2013, members of SOFIA's staff gathered to commemorate the 100th flight of NASA's airborne observatory. SOFIA departed from the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility at Palmdale, Calif., that evening at 7:09 p.m. local time.
For the flight, SOFIA carried the German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies, or GREAT, spectroscopic receiver. GREAT works like a very high frequency radio receiver detecting light waves rather than light particles. The GREAT instrument has been developed by a consortium of German research institutes led by the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn, Germany.