WACO, Texas, May 14 (UPI) -- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Charles Lindbergh's grandson, will help dedicate a 747 astronomy plane to his late grandfather.
May 21 marks the 80th anniversary of Lindbergh's historic solo New York-to-Paris flight and to commemorate that event, the ceremony will take place next Monday at the Texas State Technical College Airport in Waco.
The aircraft to be dedicated to the aviation pioneer is a Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy modified Boeing 747SP aircraft that incorporates a 98.4 inch infrared telescope.
The airborne observatory is a partnership between NASA and the German Aerospace Center. Lindbergh's grandson, Erik, will re-dedicate the aircraft, called "Clipper Lindbergh."
The 747 was originally christened by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, widow of the famous aviator, when it began service as an airliner in 1977. The plane has a 16-foot-high door in the aft fuselage that will allow the 45,000-pound telescope to capture astronomical data in the infrared spectrum at altitudes that could exceed 40,000 feet. By flying above 90 percent of the Earth's atmospheric water vapor, the observatory will significantly exceed the capabilities of infrared observatories on Earth, NASA said.