NASA intends to adjust missions of an airborne astronomical observatory so as to amplify its scientific productivity. During the 234th Meeting of the AAS (American Astronomical Society), Paul Hertz—Director of NASA’s Astrophysics Unit—said those upcoming alterations are the result of a pair of reviews of the SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy). The SOFIA project is based on a Boeing 747 outfitted with a 2.5-Meter telescope used for high-altitude infrared outlooks. Hertz said, “We would be doing changes in the SOFIA mission to advance its productivity and make it as receptive as it could be to community science priorities.”
In the changes, he said, would be for SOFIA to trip more frequently. Those flights would also be developed to spend additional time on high altitudes, where the airplane is on top of most of the infrared-absorbing water vapor in the environment, allowing observations not achievable from ground-based observatories. He added, “We are going to finish the changeover of SOFIA from a developmental attitude into an operational attitude that we expect would create an extra productive science operations mode.” The SOFIA—which is one of NASA’s biggest operational astrophysics projects—received $85.2 Million in the financial year 2018, while the funding for the financial year 2019 is pending sanction of the agency’s operating plan.
Recently, NASA was in news as its study showed that alien life is far less possible than earlier thought. The researchers just incapacitate in the search for intellect extraterrestrial life by reconsidering what a “habitable planet” is. A group of scientists led by Edward Schwieterman—NASA’s Astrobiologist—in recent time published a review indicating that the HZ (habitable zone) for life comprises far fewer planetary arrangements than scientists thought. As per to the paper, the HZ for complex aerobic life is possibly limited relative to that for microbial life.