NASA prepares to transport the Orion in its Super Guppy aircraft

So, how does NASA transport all of its special spacecraft and accompanying parts? In a giant Super Guppy aircraft, of course. The Super Guppy has  a 25 ft. x 25 ft. cargo compartment that is 111 feet long and capable of carrying over 26 tons. The aircraft has unique hinged nose that can open more than 200 degrees to allow large pieces of cargo to be loaded and unloaded from the front.

(Image Credit: NASA)
(Image Credit: NASA)

NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft is getting ready to transport the Orion spacecraft pressure vessel for Exploration Mission-1 from the Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The pressure vessel will fly on the first launch of Orion and NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System. The unmanned test flight will demonstrate the agency’s new capability to launch future deep space missions, including missions to asteroids and Mars.

Orion's pressure vessel upon completion. (Image Credit: NASA)
Orion’s pressure vessel upon completion. (Image Credit: NASA)

On January 13, engineers finished welding together the primary structure of the Orion spacecraft destined for deep space, marking another step on the journey to Mars.

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