Orion spacecraft arrives in Ohio for testing
The nose of NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft opened to reveal the Orion spacecraft, wrapped in a protective transportation cover. The spacecraft was removed from the aircraft and loaded onto a large flatbed trailer to be transported to NASA’s Plum Brook Station for testing.
NASA/ Bridget Caswell

Orion spacecraft arrives in Ohio for testing

NASA’s Super Guppy delivers Artemis I spacecraft for transport to NASA’s Plum Brook Station.

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November 26, 2019

Nearly 1,500 people turned out Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019 to watch NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft arrive at Mansfield (Ohio) Lahm Airport with the Orion spacecraft for Artemis I aboard. At about 4:35 p.m. EST, the Guppy, which had traveled from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, appeared in the eastern sky. Once the Guppy touched down, the crowd cheered loudly as it taxied to a stop just as the sun began to set.

The nose of the Guppy was opened at sunrise on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, revealing the packaged Orion spacecraft inside. It was removed from the aircraft and loaded onto a large flatbed trailer to be transported to NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, for testing.

Completed in two phases inside the world’s largest vacuum chamber, testing will begin with a thermal test, which will last approximately 60 days, while Orion’s systems are powered-on under vacuum conditions that simulate the space environment. During this phase, the spacecraft will be subjected to extreme temperatures, ranging from -250°F to 300°F, to replicate flying in-and-out of sunlight and shadow in space.

The second phase is an electromagnetic interference and compatibility test, lasting about 14 days. This testing will ensure the spacecraft’s electronics work properly when operated at the same time.

After testing, the spacecraft will return to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where it will begin integration with the Space Launch System rocket for the Artemis I launch.

View more images of Orion’s arrival in Ohio.