NASA’s wacky-looking Super Guppy could be the reason humans are able to get back on the moon

Published on Oct 13, 2023 at 7:31 PM (UTC+4)
by Andie Reeves

Last updated on Oct 13, 2023 at 7:31 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

NASA’s wacky-looking Super Guppy could be the reason humans are able to get back on the moon

NASA is determined to get back on the moon with its Artemis mission and to establish a long-term presence on the Earth’s satellite.

The agency is gearing up to send a massive 3D printer there to build homes for humans, and it has also just designed fuel to support life on the moon.

But all of these incredible feats are thanks to the help of one pretty weird-looking plane.

READ MORE: How NASA astronaut Frank Rubio’s body changed after more than a year in space

When America’s space race was in full swing, NASA needed to speed things up however it could.

One of the greatest difficulties when it came to building rockets and satellites was the transportation of parts.

The agency found itself limited by the size of planes and trains.

And transporting pieces by barge could take weeks.

Weeks it couldn’t afford if it wanted to land the first man on the moon.

And so the Pregnant Guppy was created.

This massive aircraft had the largest cargo compartment ever built, specially made to transport the Saturn rocket for the Apollo program.

“To say that this amazing aircraft helped America win the space race would be an understatement,” NASA stated.

Now the latest model, the Super Guppy Turbine, is assisting with the new age of space exploration.

Most recently it delivered the heat shield skin for the Artemis mission.

The plane’s unique capabilities make it useful not only to NASA but to the American government too.

The Guppy has previously transported aircraft and oversized cargo for the Air Force and the Navy.

When elements like narrow roads, low bridges and hanging power lines make transporting certain items impossible, the Guppy offers a solution.

While other aircraft can take more weight than the Guppy, none boast the same cargo space, with a storage area that’s 25 feet in diameter and 111 feet long.

The Guppy’s unique nose makes it ideal for transporting large and awkwardly-shaped items.

Such as rockets, or entire planes.

The nose hinges open to 110 degrees, allowing the aircraft to be loaded from the front.

While its cargo hold is huge, the Guppy only takes four crew members at a time.

That’s a lot of legroom.

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Andie Reeves

Andie is a content writer from South Africa with a background in broadcasting and journalism. Starting her career in the glossy pages of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, Andie has a broad portfolio, covering everything from sustainability solutions to celebrity car collections. When not at her laptop Andie can be found sewing, recording her podcast, taking board games too seriously or road-tripping in her bright green Kia.