The U.S./German Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA, Figure 1) is a 2.5-meter infrared airborne telescope in a Boeing 747-SP flying in the stratosphere at altitudes as high as 45,000 feet where the atmospheric transmission averages ≥ 80% throughout the 0.3 - 1600 μm spectral region. SOFIA's first-generation instruments include broadband imagers, moderate resolution spectrographs capable of resolving broad features due to dust and large molecules, and high resolution spectrometers suitable for kinematic studies of molecular and atomic gas lines at km s−1 resolution. These and future instruments will enable SOFIA to make unique contributions to studies of the physics and chemistry of stellar evolution for many decades. Science flights will begin in 2010. A full operations schedule of at least 100 flights per year will begin in 2014 and will continue for 20 years. The SOFIA Guest Investigator (GI) program, open to investigators worldwide, will constitute the major portion of the SOFIA observing program.