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When International Space Station elements are launched into orbit, it won't be the first time they have taken flight. As elements are completed they will be transported to the launch site on the Super Guppy cargo airplane.

The Super Guppy's 25' diameter fuselage is designed to handle oversized loads. The 377SGT-F Super Guppy has the lift, speed, and size to meet all the requirements of the International Space Station.

Loading the Guppy is easy because of the unique "fold-away" nose of the aircraft. The aircraft has an unobstructed loading area when the nose is retracted. The Super Guppy's hinged nose opens 110 degrees for cargo loading. A control lock and disconnect system at the fuselage break allows the nose to be opened and closed without disrupting the flight or engine control rigging.

Cargo loading is simple and efficient. A system of rails in the cargo compartment is used with either Guppy pallets or fixtures designed for specific cargo. Rollers mounted in the rails allow pallets or fixtures to be moved by an electric winch mounted beneath the cargo floor. Automatic hydraulic lock pins in each rail secure the pallet for flight.

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Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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