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Vince717
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What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Sun Oct 02, 2022 2:39 am

The SOFIA program has ended, and I'm painfully curious on the fate of N747NA. Does anyone have any idea what will happen to it? Will the aircraft get preserved, a museum piece? will it be stored for the next 20 years, or the horrible case, will it get scrapped?
 
crownvic
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Re: What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Sun Oct 02, 2022 4:23 am

Sadly, there is very little use anymore for 747SP. Budgets for museums are just not there anymore for taking in such a large aircraft, as much as it would be nice. More than likely, it will have it's final ferry flight to either MZJ, Mojave or Victorville, where it will meet it's fate. I would love to be wrong, but that is the reality.
 
qcpilotxf
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Re: What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Sun Oct 02, 2022 4:55 am

I'm willing to make an educated guess that NASA will place it with one of their sponsored museums at one of their facilities
 
Avatar2go
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Re: What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Sun Oct 02, 2022 6:26 am

News reports on the retirement state that NASA is looking for a "suitable permanent home" for SOFIA. It's been a popular platform, traveling around the world. There could be interest in Germany and New Zealand, apart from the US. I think it will be preserved somewhere. It made enough discoveries that an entire astronomy exhibit could be constructed around it.
 
IwantaBBJ
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Re: What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Sun Oct 02, 2022 6:52 am

Why not put it into the museum at Palmdale? Surely there is space?
 
FGITD
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Re: What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Sun Oct 02, 2022 7:57 am

Avatar2go wrote:
News reports on the retirement state that NASA is looking for a "suitable permanent home" for SOFIA. It's been a popular platform, traveling around the world. There could be interest in Germany and New Zealand, apart from the US. I think it will be preserved somewhere. It made enough discoveries that an entire astronomy exhibit could be constructed around it.


NASA generally seems to do a pretty good job of finding homes for their old equipment. Given the German cooperation with SOFIA I wouldn’t be too surprised to see it end up there. There’s not a whole lot of NASA stuff that would reasonably end up in foreign museums, so this could be a nice piece.
 
cpd
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Re: What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Sun Oct 02, 2022 8:21 pm

HARS in Wollongong, Australia, to go alongside the 747-400 they already have.

At least one of the HARS people used to fly on the 747-SP38 when it was still in service with Qantas. HARS would do it justice properly.

It is a very important piece of history and should be preserved.
 
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ssteve
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Re: What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Mon Oct 03, 2022 5:30 pm

The predecessor Kuiper Airborne Observatory C-141A is still at Moffett Field. So SOFIA may simply sit if there's no other positive disposition for it.
 
mxaxai
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Re: What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:16 pm

Personally, I'd prefer it if SOFIA was properly mothballed for possible reactivation. It's a unique aircraft and building a successor would likely take 10-20 years (even though some of the new space observatories can replace parts of SOFIA's capability).
However, given that the 747SP is already an ancient airframe and spare parts availability isn't going to get any better, chances of reactivation would be slim.

Germany would be nice given SOFIA's history but its relatively humid and temperate climate does pose a risk of mold and corrosion. For proper preservation, you'd need to put it in a hangar or give it regular care, and I doubt there's any funding for that.
 
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Seabear
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Re: What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Wed Oct 05, 2022 7:01 pm

Beer cans?
 
bunumuring
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Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:56 pm

Re: What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Wed Oct 05, 2022 9:53 pm

[threeid][/threeid]
cpd wrote:
HARS in Wollongong, Australia, to go alongside the 747-400 they already have.

At least one of the HARS people used to fly on the 747-SP38 when it was still in service with Qantas. HARS would do it justice properly.

It is a very important piece of history and should be preserved.


Hey mate,
Considering the poor state of the Qantas 747 already at HARS the last time I was there, a few months ago, I think they’ve got enough on their plate trying to deal with what they’ve already got.
Poor old -OJA looked neglected. She may have been cleaned / repainted by now, but back then even my non-avgeek mates who were with me thought -OJA needed attention.
Take care,
Bunumuring
 
4holer
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Re: What will happen to NASA's SOFIA?

Fri Oct 14, 2022 6:03 pm

ssteve wrote:
The predecessor Kuiper Airborne Observatory C-141A is still at Moffett Field. So SOFIA may simply sit if there's no other positive disposition for it.


Just joined it at Moffett.

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