The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) will operate from NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA. To insure that the observatory's objective of conducting at least 960 successful science flight hours per year will be met, a ground support facility called SOFIA Science and Missions Operation Center (SSMOC) is being developed. This new science institute will be located in an aircraft hangar housing the Boeing 747SP, laboratories supporting the aircraft and its scientific payload, and office space for 80 scientists, engineers, technical support personnel, and the flight crews. The SSMOC will include a mirror coating facility, a pre-flight integration facility for the pre-alignment of science instruments, a system integration laboratory supporting the observatory's software, communications and data acquisition systems, a science data center, and facilities for SOFIA's education and public outreach program. SOFIA and the SSMOC will be jointly operated by the U. S. and German project partners.