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SOFIA Program Manager
Eddie Zavala is program manager of the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, program, at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. In this position he is responsible for overall development and operational service of the observatory, which features a German-built 2.5-meter infrared telescope mounted in a highly modified Boeing 747SP aircraft.
The program, a cooperative effort between NASA (Armstrong and Ames research centers) and DLR, the German Aerospace Center, is the agency's next-generation airborne observatory, giving astronomers routine access to the infrared and sub-millimeter portions of the electromagnetic spectrum of the universe.
Zavala came to NASA Armstrong in 1989 as a cooperative education student. In 1991, he began his professional career in the center's Flight Systems branch. There, as a member of the F-18 Systems Research Aircraft project, Zavala developed technical expertise in fiber optics technology and electrical actuation systems.
Zavala earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, in 1991.