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NASA Awards Contract for SOFIA Science, Mission Operations Support

NASA has selected Universities Space Research Association of Columbia, Maryland, to provide the agency with science and mission operations support for its Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) program.

The hybrid contract consists of a cost-plus-award-fee core requirement, cost no fee for the core grants activity, and separate indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity elements for the cost-plus-award-fee core and cost-plus-fixed-fee orders. The maximum total value is approximately $514 million. The period of performance begins May 1 and includes a 60-day phase-in and five-year base period, followed by six two-year options and a one-year shutdown/close-out option. The exercise of options is subject to review and approval of continued performance of the SOFIA mission.

SOFIA is an airborne astronomical observatory consisting of a 2.5-meter aperture telescope permanently installed in a specially modified Boeing 747SP aircraft. The observatory, with an open port telescope, provides routine access to nearly all of the infrared, far infrared, and sub-millimeter parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. SOFIA’s primary mission is to conduct high-quality, high-impact, cutting-edge research in astronomy, astrophysics, and planetary astronomy.
The SOFIA Program is executed jointly at two NASA centers. Flight operations and maintenance of the SOFIA aircraft are managed at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. Program and science operations are managed at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

For information about SOFIA, visit:


Felicia Chou
Headquarters, Washington
Jessica Culler
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.