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4 NW Teachers Head For Edge Of Space Later This Month

OPB | April 16, 2014 11:11 a.m. | Updated: April 16, 2014 12:36 p.m. | Portland

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Four Pacific Northwest teachers will boldly go where only a few teachers have gone before: THE EDGE OF SPACE.

High school teacher Robert Black and Dave Bloomsness of Southern Oregon’s Skywatchers of Medford and middle school teachers Kim Abegglen and Anna-Melissa Lyons of Brush Prairie, Wash. will join 20 others in NASA and the German Aerospace Center’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

Later this month, the 12 two-person teams will be a part of research flights with professional astronomers to observe airborne infrared astronomy.

SOFIA planes will take educators to the edge of space to observe astronomy alongside the professionals.

SOFIA planes will take educators to the edge of space to observe astronomy alongside the professionals.


When they return to earth, NASA expects all educators to share their experiences with their students and communities. Abegglen and Lyons told KOIN in an interview they plan to tweet about their journey, so students can follow along.

The teachers will go on two 10- to 12-hour trips in the observatory, which will climb between 39,000 and 45,000 feet.

Teachers will take off from the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif. in a few weeks.

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