I visited SOFIA's realm at NASA AMES in April 2012 and meet some of the team working for IT . And just like in the fairy stories, I wished upon a star that I could see it for real for at least once in my life. Oh well...
SOFIA, which is the acronym for the "Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy" landed in New Zealand today. It looks like it will spend some time with us from now on. SOFIA is a world class airborne observatory (in other words an aircraft with a telscope inside!) that looks at the visible, infrared and sub-milimeter spectrum. It is the legacy of the famous planetary scientist Dr. Gerard Kuiper (of the Kuiper Belt). SOFIA is now the largest airborne astronomical observatory as well as a test bench for a wide variety of astronomical instrumentation and detector technology.
Who would have thought... telescopes could fly, 400 years ago ... when Galileo first looked through one!!
I am looking forward to learn more about this amazing aircraft, and the contribution that it brings to the development of science.
Let's wish SOFIA a very warm welcome to New Zealand!
Click on this picture to see SOFIA Image Gallery
Greetings to those of you who will be part of the programme Seed For Space 2013. We just received word that today, students from Osaka City University came to Tsukuba Space Center to prepare flight samples for SSAF2013. The Azuki seed will be turned over to transportation team on Monday evening.
Three students prepared total of nine sets of rockwool blocks holding 18 seeds each. Five out of 9 blocks were selected and put into the plastic boxes. Among the five boxes, two were assigned for flight and back-up. Remaining three are reserves. Two will be sent to Tanegashima, then one goes to space and the other comes back to Tsukuba serving as the ground control. A detailed report will follow.
Jaxa is planning to have a rehearsal of the video file transfer. This rehearsal is very important to confirm that the video images of on-board operation will reach people timely. Detailed schedule will be announced later.
End of Transmission
P.S. - I was looking for a good picture of seed from space and came across this ... could not help it, I am a huge Star Trek fan