MANSFIELD, Ohio — NASA wants to return man and take the first woman to the Moon, and the space craft that will get us there is the Orion.
For the last four months it has undergone testing as NASA Glenn’s Plum Brook facility in Sandusky. Now, it’s time to send it back to Florida, beginning with a road trip.
The Orion pulled out of Plum Brook, beginning the 40 some mile trip to Mansfield. For a space craft as big as this, some things could get in the way; that’s why hundreds of electrical lines and traffic signals were temporarily taken done or moved so Orion could pass. Some turns were tight, but it made it.
The chance to see a space craft roll down your neighborhood street brought out on lookers, cell phones in hand to record the moment.
“It’s pretty cool; once in a lifetime experience, be[ing] up close to Orion,” said Josh Book from Perrysville.
But that wasn’t the only spectacle; NASA’s Super Guppy returned to Mansfield airport to fly the Orion down to Kennedy Space Center.
“Unbelievable, never seen a big plane like that before,” said Book.
And just minutes later Orion pulled in, finishing a three-and-a-half-hour trip.
“Super smooth today,” remarked Nicole Smith the Orion Project Testing Manager for NASA Glenn Research Center. “We had a beautiful day to drive, we got so lucky, especially March in Ohio, right?”
For the Kocker Family from Polk, Ohio, this was special.
“It’s history in the making. Its right here closed to home. Wanted them to be a part of it,” said the father, referring to his two kids. “We enjoy the space program. We wanted to share the experience with them and get some videos and pictures something we can talk about for the rest of our lives.”
And for those who have worked on the Orion for years, it was an emotional day.
“I watched drive out of the factuality and we closed the door behind it, and it was very moving,” stated Smith.
Orion is leaving Ohio, one step closer to the moon. The mission is expected to take place in early 2021.