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January 4, 2013
NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy 747SP lands at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, Calif., following a test flight on Dec. 9, 2009. The mission included the first opening of the observatory's external door that covers the large telescope cavity. The SOFIA aircraft is based at NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility adjacent to the Air Force facility. December 9, 2009 NASA Photo / Tony Landis

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