Southern Oregon astronomers fly with NASA

, Written by Travis Koch, Posted: Tue, April 22 2014 at 2:45 PM, Updated: Tue, April 22 2014 at 10:17 PM

Southern Oregon astronomers fly with NASA

Medford, Ore. -- Two astronomers from Southern Oregon will take the flight of their dreams to study the inner workings of outer space.

North Medford astronomy teacher, Robert Black and Southern Oregon Skywatchers amature astronomer, Dave Bloomsness were two of 24 chosen to fly aboard NASA's SOFIA - Stratospheric Observatory Infrared Astronomy. A highly modified Boeing 747sp.

The pair went through a rigorous selection process which included multiple weeks of advanced astronomy courses.

"It's like a NASCAR fan getting to race in the Indy500." said Bloomsness who has spent more than five-hundred hours volunteering at North Medford High School's Astronomy Department.

"The most important thing about this for me is for my friend Dave. He has been so selfless. I'm really happy to be able to kinda give back to Dave- He loves telescopes" said Black about his friend who he chose to tag along on the trip.

A total of twelve teams were selected and made up of both armature and professional astronomers.

The Southern Oregon team flies out from NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California next week- spending two nights in the sky. They'll be observing and analyzing the most obscure objects using the on-board infrared lens.

Click the link below to follow their journey!

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About the Author

Travis Koch

News at Sunrise Co-Anchor Travis Koch started his career as a filmmaker. He wrote and directed documentaries about traveling and extreme sports.

Among his many life experiences, he was a dog musher in Alaska and a baker in Minnesota. Travis began his career at NBC5 News as a weekend photographer and has continued to follow his dreams in television broadcasting and multimedia.

Catch Travis co-anchoring with Taelor Rian weekdays on NBC 5 News at Sunrise starting at 5:30am.

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