‘Super Guppy’ arrives at Buckley Air Force Base

AURORA, Colo. — NASA’s massive cargo plane has arrived in Colorado with some high-tech hardware on board.

The “Super Guppy” arrived at Buckley Air Force Base on Tuesday.

The “Super Guppy” picked up the Space Launch System’s Orion Stage Adapter from the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

(Credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)

NASA describes the Space Launch System as a “heavy-lift launch vehicle capable of powering the Orion spacecraft and cargo beyond low Earth orbit.”

The adapter was transported to Lockheed Martin in Denver for integrated structural testing with the Orion spacecraft, NASA officials stated.

“The OSA connects NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion System, which will give the spacecraft its big, in-space boost to fly around the moon in its first integrated flight with SLS,” the NASA website explains.

The “Super Guppy” has a cargo compartment that is 25 feet tall, 25 feet wide and 111 feet long, and can carry more than 26 tons, according to NASA.

The aircraft has unique hinged nose that can open more than 200 degrees, allowing large pieces of cargo to be loaded and unloaded from the front.

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – DECEMBER 11: A major component of the Starboard 6 truss segment for the International Space Station is visible in the cargo bay of NASA’s “Super Guppy” cargo plane December 11, 2002 at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This component will be joined to another piece of the truss before the entire structure is launched into space in early 2004. (Photo by NASA/Getty Images)