This is Sofia. Like the Italian actress, it will turn heads everywhere it flies. Not because of its cleavage, but because this Boeing 747 has a 15 by 14-foot door on it, which opens to reveal a 2.5-meter telescope.
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy—which went through $500-million in modifications after two decades of engineering—has finally been tested after its construction, flying at 15,000 feet and 415km/h with the door fully open. The test was a complete success, and in 2010 they will start testing the telescope itself. [Flight Global]