As of October 1, SOFIA ended science flight operations. We thank you for being excellent users of SOFIA and for your support at webinars, workshops, and conferences. Your insightful and brilliant proposals pushed the limits of the SOFIA platform and far-infrared science. We are looking forward to many more years of your support in continuing to use the SOFIA archive to explore and study the infrared universe.  

What to expect: There are a number of things that will be changing over the next 6-12 months with the majority of science operations closeout concluding in September 2023:

  1. Helpdesk: SOFIA’s helpdesk is still being supported at the SOFIA science center and will transition to IRSA in the future. If you need any support with your data, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! 
  2. Highlighting Scientific Results: We want to hear about your exciting results (as early as possible!) so please keep our amazing science writer, Anashe Bandari (, in the loop. Eventually, the Ames Office of Communications will take over this work. We’ll provide updated information for you when that happens. For our most recent stories please check out our blog.
  3. Data Archiving and Data Processing: All the data that has been collected over the last few months will be processed as usual and hosted at IRSA. Please expect emails about your data’s availability within the normal window for data processing. By September 2023, we will be archiving all the engineering data as well as reprocessed data from cycles 5-9. Check out SOFIA’s page on IRSA.
  4. Newsletter: We will still be sending newsletters out monthly highlighting recent scientific results and the activities associated with the observatory and the mission. 
  5. Website and Social Media: We will be transitioning all the information from the website over to IRSA. This includes user tools like the data cookbooks, data processing pipelines, abstracts from selected proposals, and SOFIA User’s Group reports. The website and our social media handles will be ramped down sometime next year. We will keep you posted about these changes. 
  6. Data Cycle System Server: Access to this server will eventually be restricted. This should cause no interruption for users, but associated services like the time estimators and access to copies of observing proposals will cease. Observers may wish to download their proposals now, for their records, using the MyProposals feature. If you have questions for your assigned support scientists, please message them directly or use the helpdesk.
  7. Grant Support: The administration of grants and associated support will continue for the next 24 months. Any changes will be communicated in a timely manner.