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Mighty Planes:

The World's Only Flying Observatory

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The World's Only Flying Observatory

Short | 02:46

It may look like a normal plane, but NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a one-of-a-kind Special Performance 747, equipped with a 17-ton telescope.


    • Wednesday
    • 5:00pm
    Apr 11
    • Thursday
    • 5:00am
    Apr 12

More About This episode

If you're going to take on the universe, you're going to need a Mighty Plane. Enter SOFIA, a Boeing 747 jumbo jetliner that's been converted by NASA into a space observatory in the sky. Manned with a 17-ton telescope, she gives scientists and researchers access to targets that are out of reach to observatories on Earth...that is, when she's airborne. She's currently grounded for upgrade and overhaul maintenance, and four months behind schedule. Follow the race against time to get SOFIA back to work, unraveling the mysteries of the cosmos.

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