The Super Guppy, an aptly named NASA cargo plane might look unwieldy but don’t let looks fool you; this plane can deliver large items.
The image here for example shows the cargo bay of the plane and a new heat shield being unloaded at Kennedy Space Center (Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis).
The heat shield will protect the new Orion spacecraft from the intense heat of re-entry. The heat-shield, built by Lockheed Martin in Colorado will withstand temperatures of 2,760 C / 5,000 F. The 5 meter / 16.5 ft diameter heat-shield plus crating fits easily inside the Guppy.
Here’s a video of the Super Guppy in action.
Watch the Orion spacecraft re-enter the atmosphere from inside the capsule.
The audio might be a bit loud.
NASA TV played this video Trial by Fire earlier this morning and shows an overview of today’s flight. We’ll see how to goes a little later.
Launch is still a go. Weather isn’t a problem so far. There was one wind gust peak near the top end of the launch criteria and has not recurred. The odds due to weather is 70 percent.
Live video for the launch is down the page in the previous post.
Update: New liftoff time is 07:05 EST / 12:05 UT on Friday 05 December 2014
Mission/Orbiter: Exploration Flight Test-1 / Orion (United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Lockheed Martin)
Launch Vehicle: ULA’s Delta IV Heavy rocket
Note: This is the first flight of spacecraft that will take astronauts to Mars.
Current Status: Go
Launch Date: Thursday, 04 December 2014 07:05 EDT / 12:05 UTC
Mission Duration: 4.5 hours
Odds of Launch: 60 percent
Hoping to put up a look at Complex 37 at KSC when it comes available. — Webcam Image courtesy: NASA/Kennedy Space Center
Wednesday Night A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 66. Northeast wind around 10 mph.
Thursday A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 77. Northeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Keeping an eye on the weather! This flight is short in duration and long on expectations.
You can catch the launch and return at NASA-TV link above and hope to have Live video on this page when the time comes.
Image Credits: NASA / NOAA