Two Worcester, Massachusetts, teachers are about to embark on a NASA mission 39,000 feet high.
East Middle School teachers Stacy Lord and Howard Fain were selected for NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, program.
They are the first teachers from Massachusetts to participate.
They've been taking an astronomy course to prepare, and perhaps the most exciting part is the ride on a flying observatory.
The modified Boeing 747 SP is the largest airborne observatory in the world, and is capable of making observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest ground-based telescopes.
"I want them to see that you really have to work toward things in life. That things don't come easy. And I told them that if I didn't pass this class, then I don't get to fly on SOFIA. So that was my end goal," Lord said.
Lord and Fain depart for California next week.