NASA SOFIA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador Mission (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy) It was a dark and stormy night, no wait that was the second flight. We arrived at Palmdale, CA, Bob Hope Airport on October 12th 2015. After checking into our hotel and getting our swag, note the NASA blue jackets, we were off to get our badges and a tour of the SOFIA aircraft. From there it was a whirlwind of aviation and science bliss. SOFIA is a specially equipped 747 SP.