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Dryden Flight Research Center
P.O. Box 273
Edwards, Calif. 93523
Phone 661-276-3449
FAX 661-276-3566

Alan Brown
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

J. D. Harrington
Headquarters, Washington

September 8, 2009
RELEASE : 09-55
NASA Awards SOFIA Engineering Contract Option to L-3 Communications
EDWARDS AFB, Calif. – NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center has awarded a contract modification to L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, L.P., of Waco, Texas, for further developmental engineering on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

The Option 1 modification under the base contract currently held by L-3 extends the period of performance through Dec. 31, 2009. The option is valued at approximately $8.7 million, bringing the total value of the contract to about $37.7 million.

The initial cost-plus-award-fee contract took effect Feb. 9, 2007, with a 23-month base period extending through Dec. 31, 2008, with three one-year options. Two additional one-year option periods yet to be exercised could extend the agreement through Dec. 31, 2011.

Under the base contract, L-3 Communications is responsible for completing development and testing of the SOFIA Airborne System, including modification, fabrication, installation, integration, and verification of various systems to meet mission requirements. Option 1 of the contract covers completion of the SOFIA subsystems, such as the Mission Control and Communication System, along with engineering and flight test support for the telescope cavity door-open flight tests and early science flight programs, and support of reviews leading to NASA public aircraft certification.

The SOFIA program includes a high-altitude airborne observatory consisting of a German-built 2.5-meter (100 inch) infrared telescope mounted in a cavity in the rear fuselage of a highly modified Boeing 747SP jetliner. Scientific instruments mounted in the observatory will be capable of celestial observations ranging from visible light through the sub-millimeter far-infrared spectrum. SOFIA is being developed jointly by NASA and the Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft und Raumfahrt (German Aerospace Center).

For more details on SOFIA and its mission on the Web, visit:


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