sofia_nz_2015flitecamLogo IR Lab

In June, 2015, FLITECAM took a
trip to the southern Hemisphere.

It was part of the New Zealand deployment of SOFIA, and used with two other instruments to image the Pluto Occultation on
June 30, 2015.

Through hard work and determination of so many, the mission was a resounding success.

These web pages document the mission photographically. But they are far from all-inclusive.

Except where noted,
All content & images
Copyright © 2015
Chris Johnson
UCLA Infrared Lab

About the Author

I've been working in the Infrared Lab for more than 10 years as a Systems Administrator, Web Master, Observatory Remote Operations Manager, FLITECAM electronics and software specialist, and sometime Photographer, among other duties.

FLITECAM is the instrument I most hate to love. It's old, cranky, and components can misbehave or die without warning or explanation. It has pushed my skill to the limit, and sometimes over it. I've been bloodied regularly, and spent many long nights, not even flying, working on its problems.

It has, however, given me the opportunity of a lifetime: to work with so many great people on a NASA science mission. Ten flights and (optimistically) counting, I wouldn't change a thing!

Chris Johnson


I take pictures, but rarely feel the need to be in them. This is me outside SOFIA during a line-ops. It's like a test flight without leaving the ground, and helps to work out bugs without burning fuel.

The sun rises over SOFIA in February, 2014.