NASA’s Super Guppy was in flight this week, ferrying the Orion spacecraft heat shield from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Alabama.
The massive turboprop cargo aircraft was designed in the 1960s to accommodate oversized loads, such as body sections of the Saturn V rocket.
READ MORE: Inside NASA’s Super Guppy
On Monday, the behemoth landed at Huntsville Regional Airport (KUTS). “This unique visitor is always a sight to see!” the airport said on X, formerly Twitter.
— Huntsville International Airport (@FlyHSV) November 7, 2023
On board, according to NASA, was the heat shield that protected the Orion crew module during last year’s Artemis I test flight. The shield was then taken to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.
“Technicians at Marshall will use the center’s specialized milling tool to remove the heat shield’s outer layer of ablative material, a protective coating called Avcoat, as part of routine postflight analysis,” NASA said in a release.