An unusually large crowd was gathered as the C-130H Hercules approached Mansfield-Lahm Airport, Ohio, home of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing. This flight was a supporting role to NASA, and the C-130 cargo bay was hauling items for NASA, but not what the crowd was waiting to see. Tailing moments behind this C-130, was the Super Guppy (N941NA).
Anticipation was high as NASA’s Super Guppy landed at Mansfield-Lahm Airport, Ohio, Nov. 24, with precious cargo onboard. The aircraft is a spectacle in itself, some describe it as whale-like and others say it resembles an alien ship from a science fiction movie. All agree it’s something highly interesting to see in the air.
Hundreds of people lined the fences to see the aviation marvel landing. The Super Guppy’s stardom takes a backseat to its cargo on this trip, as it transports the Orion space capsule. The Orion space capsule is considered a major step forward in human space travel, any progress the program makes draws international attention.
The Orion space capsule is currently in route to NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, where it will undergo critical testing for several months. The Super Guppy’s successful landing in Mansfield-Lahm may be just a stepping stone on its journey, but an important one. The logistics of moving cargo of this size are thought out well in advance. So why would NASA choose Mansfield?