How does the Super Guppy help the missions to take humans to the moon?


NASA’s Super Guppy is an exceptional-looking, wide-body aircraft created by the space agency to transport components too large to fit in a conventional cargo plane.

The Super Guppy was used to move parts of NASA’s massive Saturn V rocket in preparation for lunar missions in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and now the plane takes to the skies to aid upcoming Artemis lunar missions, Digitartlends reports.

Its most recent flight saw the Super Guppy transfer a heat-shield envelope to Orion, the spacecraft that will carry humans to the Moon on the Artemis missions expected to take place before the end of this decade.

The plane landed at Moffett Federal Airport near San Jose, California earlier this month, with the skin transported to NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley where it awaits the next stage of production.

This week the space agency released images of Super Guppy shortly after her arrival at the airport, with one showing the spacecraft component being removed from the huge accessible cargo compartment near the front of the plane.

Guppy’s original aircraft, the Pregnant Guppy, was actually a KC-97 Stratotanker converted by the defunct Aero Spacelines in 1962.

Three years later Aero Spacelines followed up with the larger and more powerful Super Guppy, which featured a 25-foot (7.6 m) cargo tank and, for the first time, a hinged nose for more efficient cargo loading.

The last version of the aircraft, the Super Guppy Turbine, first flew into the sky in 1970.

With the original NASA Super Guppy going quickly, the agency bought a new one in 1997 from Airbus, which built two Super Guppy planes after acquiring manufacturing rights from Aero Spacelines. NASA’s Super Guppy is the only one still flying today.

“Unlike other aircraft, the Super Guppy has a specially designed hinged nose that opens at an angle of 110 degrees so that cargo can be loaded and unloaded from its belly,” NASA says on its website, adding that the aircraft’s shape “also allows it to carry bulky or heavy equipment that does not fit aircraft.” traditional.

Last year, the plane flew the entire Orion spacecraft to the Kennedy Space Center where it now sits atop NASA’s mighty SLS rocket in preparation for launch.


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