The Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) is the fourth in NASA's series of Great Observatories. It will feature a one-meter class cryogenically cooled telescope. It is planned for a NASA fiscal start for the development phase in 1994 with a launch in about 2001. The launch vehicle will be the new upgraded Titan IV with a Centaur upper stage. The operational orbit will be circular at an altitude of about 100,000 km. The planned mission lifetime is 5 years. This paper addresses the rationale in the selection of the high altitude orbit, the performance of the launch vehicle in delivering the observatory to orbit, other orbit options, and the planned observational modes and capabilities of the observatory. The paper will also address the viewing geometry and viewing constraints affecting science observation, telescope aperture shade design, and spacecraft solar-panel and communication design.