Institution(s): 1. UCLA/USRA
The joint U.S. and German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747SP, is now fully operational with cameras and spectrometers in the 1 to 240 micron region. It will be one of the major observatories for the next 20 years to observe the local ISM in this spectral region. We will give a brief overview of the SOFIA observatory, telescope, instrumentation and recent science. Future observing opportunities and participation in future instrument developments, over the lifetime of the SOFIA observatory will be discussed.