The rock star of telescopes!!!
I love this. I have been following the SOFIA program for many moons on paper, and I think I have more glossy little PDFs on this than any other NASA task, save perhaps the Mars rovers.
Now I have two wonderful photos I love seeing side-by-side, from 2009 and 2011:
Me with model of SOFIA at NASA Ames Research Ctr in 2008
Me with the real SOFIA at NASA Dryden Aircraft Ops in 2011
SOFIA is the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, a modified Boeing 747 that will be NASA's and the DLR's premiere platform for airborne astronomy over her 20-year lifespan.
I can't wait to tell you all about it, and show you all my wonderful pictures from NASA Dryden when I get home! Must drive there first, however. On the road today!