Transporting a large space capsule around Earth can be a daunting process, but NASA has its own various equipment for such jobs — one of which is a very big plane with a very big belly. Known as the “Super Guppy,” NASA’s cavernous plane is capable of carrying large loads from point A to point B, and the aircraft just transported the space agency’s next-generation passenger spacecraft to Ohio for a round of testing.
The Super Guppy’s precious cargo was NASA’s Orion spacecraft, a new crew capsule that’s designed to take future astronauts into deep space and eventually to the vicinity of the Moon. Orion is gearing up for its first flight on top of NASA’s future monster rocket, the Space Launch System — a mission, without a crew, that’s supposed to take place in the early 2020s. The flight will send Orion around the Moon on a three-week trip before the capsule heads back to Earth.