Cathy Weselby
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Nicholas A. Veronico
SOFIA Science Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Oct. 6, 2011
NASA Offers Rare Opportunity to Tour Airborne Observatory
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – Reporters are invited to explore NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. PDT on Oct. 14, 2011, at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

SOFIA is a highly modified Boeing 747SP aircraft that carries a telescope with a 100-inch (2.5 meter) reflecting mirror that conducts astronomy research not possible with ground-based telescopes. SOFIA is housed at NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif.

Among the speakers available for interviews are: Pamela Marcum, SOFIA project scientist, Erick Young, SOFIA science mission operations director, Eddie Zavala, SOFIA deputy program manager and Hans Zinnecker, SOFIA science mission operations deputy director. Also attending is Marita Beard, one of the teachers who has flown on SOFIA as part of the Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program and 100 of her students from Branham High School, San Jose, Calif.

News media planning to attend must contact Cathy Weselby at 650-604-4789 or before noon PDT Oct. 13, 2011, for media credentials.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, the public will be invited to tour SOFIA from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT. Admission is free but tickets are required to tour the aircraft. Tickets are available at:

SOFIA is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and is based and managed at NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., manages the SOFIA science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association headquartered in Columbia, Md., and the German SOFIA Institute (DSI) at the University of Stuttgart.

For information about NASA's SOFIA program, visit:


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