As the world's largest flying observatory, NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is a unique space-science asset. SOFIA incorporates a 19-ton German-built telescope with an effective diameter of 2.5 meters in a highly modified Boeing 747SP aircraft that flies astronomical science missions at altitudes between 39,000 and 45,000 feet, above 99 percent of the infrared-blocking water vapor in the atmosphere. Capable of conducting observations in visible through far-infrared spectra from any part of the globe, SOFIA provides access to a spectral region not currently accessible by ground or space telescopes.
A joint program of NASA and the German Aerospace Center DLR, the SOFIA observatory is based at NASA's Science and Aircraft Integration Facility in Palmdale, Calif., a satellite facility of the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. NASA's Ames Research Center manages the science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut.
SOFIA's Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program provides educators hands-on experience as they work with scientists during missions on the flying observatory.
Isn't this just fucking awesome? Aren't we humans capable of doing extraordinary things when we work together? Why we have to be always fighting for power, taking things that belong to other people just because of selfishness and avarice, making other people struggle because we want more for ourselves... Isn't the world big enough and has plenty of resources to make all people live with dignity and comfortability? We humans can be the most kindly, lovely, respectful and protective living species on earth, and at the same time, the most psychopathic, self-destructive, and terrific ones.
Stephen Wolfram introduces the Wolfram Language in this video that shows how the symbolic programming language enables powerful functional programming, querying of large databases, flexible interactivity, easy deployment, and much, much more.