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2008: SOFIA's telescope was built by MAN Technologie AG and Kayser-Threde GmbH in Germany. The mirror weighs 17 tons (34,000 pounds), and has an effective diameter of 2.5 meters (1 00 inches). Sky light is seen through the 2.5-meter SOFIA primary mirror for the last time. Once the mirror receives its opaque aluminum coating, this view will be impossible. (NASA/Ron Strong)

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