The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, completed its final mission flight on Sept. 29, 2022 following years of mission flights studying the universe using a 20-ton infrared telescope revealed behind a large door that opened in-flight high up in the stratosphere.
SOFIA is NASA’s Boeing 747SP jet, extensively integrated by employees at L3Harris’ Waco, Texas aircraft modification center to carry the 20-ton, 98.4-inch diameter telescope assembly provided by the German Aerospace Center, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, or DLR for short.
“SOFIA remains one of the most complex aircraft modification projects ever completed by L3Harris employees,” said Sara Tatsch, Vice President and General Manager, Modernization and Modifications Group, L3Harris. “It exemplifies our extensive legacy of delivering disruptive technologies to solve our customers’ toughest challenges.”
As SOFIA retires, L3Harris salutes the men and women who created and flew this engineering marvel for more than a decade of scientific discovery. Click the image above to watch our extended SOFIA tribute video.