Episode 104 – Nick Veronico on NASA’s SOFIA Boeing 747SP

Guest: Nick Veronico (Public Affairs spokesman for NASA’s SOFIA project)

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 18th of June 2016

Duration:  49 minutes 48 seconds

In this episode Dave talks with Nick Veronico of San Carlos, California, USA, who is currently working in Christchurch, New Zealand, with the NASA SOFIA project. SOFIA is an acronym for Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy. This project is basically a massive infrared telescope mounted in the back of a short-bodied Boeing 747SP, that flies very high through the night observing and recording distant galaxies and astronomical bodies. This is the third year in a row that SOFIA has come to Christchurch, using the Operation Deep Freeze complex at Harewood (Christchurch International Airport) as a base during the New Zealand winter.

Nick discusses the work that the SOFIA aircraft does, and those who crew the Boeing ex-airliner. He also talks about his background as an aviation journalist and a writer of 35 books, many of which have been on aviation topics such as warbird wrecks, aeroplane collections, aviation boneyards, the USAAF’s Eighth Air Force during WWII, and the US Navy’s Blue Angels display team.

Quick Links:

 SOFIA’s Website

 SOFIA on the NASA Website

•  Nick’s books on Amazon:


Created by Liem Bahneman

The SOFIA Southern Deployment Patch for 2016 (NASA Official)

NASA Official Photos:


NASA SOFIA takes off from Hamburg




NASA SOFIA’s cockpit after an avionics upgrade


Forcast Instrument on SOFIA Telescope


SOFIA Telescope and Mirror Close-Up


NASA SOFIA Telescope and Cavity


HIPO Instrument


EXES Instrument



NB: Music used in this episode include “Also sprach Zarathustra” by Richard Strauss as the opener, and “The Aquarium”, from The Carnival of the Animals suite by Camille Saint-Saëns as the closing music.

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