The SOFIA aircraft is bathed by water from Air Force Plant 42 fire department trucks, outside its hangar in an effort to check for leaks around the telescope cavity door. Even small amounts of moisture would affect the optical performance of the telescope mirrors that are hidden beneath the door located in the aircraft's rear fuselage.

February 18, 2011
NASA Photo / Tom Tschida

› View larger photo

Page Last Updated: August 1st, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator