posted on Sep, 7 2019 @ 04:25 PM
The Kuiper Airborne Observatory was a airborne infrared telescope built by NASA in the 70's. It used a short frame C-141A Starlifter coupled to carry
a 36 inch infrared telescope above 40000 feet to get out of water vapor that interfered with its mission. The Kuiper was replaced by the 747-SP Based
SOFIA. Based at Moffett Field it has languished there for years and recently it was moved to a more observable area and it is in sad shape.
The telescope has been removed and its cavity left open to the elements, and the rest of the airframe is really rough. The telescope itself is
destined for the Smithsonian, but the C-141 itself seems to be headed to the scrap heap sadly.