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NASA Issues Call for Airborne Astronomical Observatory Program Partners

NASA, SOFIANASA‘s Armstrong Flight Research Center has issued a request for information to seek potential partners for conducting research and development activities by using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy aircraft.

According to the RFI posted Tuesday on FedBizOpp, the agency wants interested partners to arrange flights on the airborne astronomical observatory.

Questions and responses are due May 1 to Paul Hertz, director of the astrophysics division of NASA’s science mission directorate.

Flights on SOFIA, a joint program of NASA and the German Aerospace Center, cost an estimated $1 million per night.

SOFIA is a modified Boeing 747SP fitted with a far-infrared telescope and has features not available to space- and ground-based telescopes, the RFI says.

NASA’s Ames Research Center, the Universities Space Research Association and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut manage SOFIA’s science and mission operations.

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