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January 4, 2013
The high-tech German-built infrared telescope and its associated lower flexible telescope cavity door are rotated upward to their maximum 58-degree vertical position in this photo taken during the last flight in the SOFIA observatory's flight envelope-expansion test series. The pilot in a NASA F/A-18 keeps a close watch on the airborne observatory while flying in close formation during the tests. August 4, 2010 (NASA photo / Carla Thomas)

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