by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 03, 2014
NASA issued a Request for Information (RFI) Monday soliciting potential partners interested in using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) aircraft for scientific investigations or for other potential uses.
NASA's Fiscal Year 2015 budget request to Congress calls for SOFIA to be placed in storage next year unless the agency's contribution to the project can be replaced.
Various partnership levels will be considered. Partnerships can range from joining as a major partner to securing flights on a night-by-night basis. Costs are estimated at approximately $1 million per night for a dedicated mission. Due to the current budget situation, partnership arrangements would be initiated immediately in order to be in place prior to Oct. 1. Potential partners are invited to submit their interest or questions in writing as soon as possible, but prior to May 1.
The SOFIA team will conduct an Industry Day April 11 at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center Bldg. 703 in Palmdale, Calif., to provide detailed information to potential partners and the media. Representatives can meet with the SOFIA program staff and take a tour of the aircraft. A number of briefings will be given on SOFIA's science program, the aircraft, its operational and life-cycle costs, as well as potential partnership mechanisms.
SOFIA is the world's largest airborne astronomical observatory, complementing NASA's space telescopes, as well as major Earth-based telescopes. It features a German-built far-infrared telescope with an effective diameter of 100-inches (2.5 meters). The telescope weighs 19 tons (38,000 lb.) and is mounted in the rear fuselage of a highly modified Boeing 747SP aircraft.
Flying at altitudes of between 39,000 to 45,000 feet (12 - 14 kilometers) and above 99 percent of the water vapor in the atmosphere, SOFIA facilitates observations that are unobtainable from telescopes on the ground. Because SOFIA can fly virtually anywhere in the world, change instruments between flights, and implement new capabilities, it provides greater adaptability than any space-based telescope.
The RFI is available here
Space Telescope News and Technology at Skynightly.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|