For the second time in just under a month, NASA's Super Guppy could be seen soaring above the Seattle skyline as it delivered the aft portion of the Space Shuttle Trainer payload bay to Seattle's Museum of Flight on Thursday morning (July 26). It was the second of three flights to the region, as the Space Shuttle Trainer, on which every space shuttle astronaut trained, moves to its new home at The Museum of Flight.
The Super Guppy landed at Boeing Field at 10 a.m. PDT with the aft portion of the payload bay on board. It taxied to Boeing's Military Flight Center, where the payload bay was moved from the Super Guppy onto an Air Force "Tunner 60K" loader and slowly transported across East Marginal Way to the Museum's Charles Simonyi Space Gallery. NASA's Super Guppy will make one more trip to Seattle's Museum of Flight on August 9 to deliver the final portion of the payload bay on what could be the historic aircraft's final flight to the region.
"With today's arrival we are one step closer to the completion of our Space Shuttle Trainer exhibit which will serve as an inspiration to future generations for years to come," said Museum of Flight President and CEO Doug King. "It's always exciting to have the Super Guppy arrive, especially when it is delivering such precious cargo."
Built in the 1970s, the Shuttle Trainer is the only one of its kind in the world and is the simulator in which each of the 335 space shuttle astronauts trained. It will be on display in the 15,500-square foot Charles Simonyi Space Gallery, where it joins a collection of other rare space artifacts including Simonyi's Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft and interactive exhibits showcasing space travel from the earliest days of the space shuttle program to the future of commercial space flight. In its entirety, the payload bay is 61 feet long, 19 feet wide and 23.5 feet high.
[i]Photos courtesy Oliver McIntosh, The Museum of Flight[/i]
[i][b]Super Guppy Is Unloaded:[/b] The Space Shuttle Trainer Payload Bay is removed from inside NASA's Super Guppy before transportation to The Museum of Flight's Charles Simonyi Space Gallery.[/i]
[i][b]Payload Bay Shuttled across Boeing Field:[/b] The Space Shuttle Trainer Payload Bay is shuttled from the Boeing Military Flight Center, up Boeing Field and towards The Museum of Flight's Charles Simonyi Space Gallery.[/i]
[i][b]Payload Bay on Crane:[/b] The aft portion of the Space Shuttle Trainer payload bay is lifted high into the air before being secured on its permanent base and wheeled into The Museum of Flight's Charles Simonyi Space Gallery.[/i]