NASA's flying SOFIA is in New Zealand 

The SOFIA observatory in flight with its telescope door open.

After eight years of science work, jet-turned-telescope SOFIA is preparing to take its final flight. But before its end of service on Sept. 30

 the flying observatory is taking one last trip abroad.

Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint project between NASA and the German Aerospace Center 

 Boeing 747 aircraft with a special door built into its side that opens mid-flight to reveal observational instruments

 SOFIA is spending its final international deployment in Christchurch, New Zealand, where it has spent six previous deployments. 

We are thrilled to be returning to Christchurch to continue to study and discover the infrared universe,

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