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January 4, 2013
With the doors to the high-tech telescope nestled in its rear fuselage open, NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, soars over California’s Owens Valley during a flight-envelope expansion test flight. Several test points were flown with the telescope doors open at an altitude of 42,000 feet, within the altitude range that the SOFIA will operate when conducting astronomical observations. July 30, 2010 (NASA photo / Jim Ross)

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