Tests of the Orion crew module launch abort system are edging closer with the delivery flight of the initial test module to Kirtland AFB before onward transport to White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
The unit, pictured here in the hangar prior to delivery at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, Calif., is barely wide enough when mounted on its transportation cradle, to fit inside the otherwise cavernous hold of the Boeing C-17 that came to collect it (below).
With literally inches to spare on either side, personnel from NASA and the Jackson, Mississippi-based 172nd Air National Guard, worked for hours to secure the load which will be transported by road from Kirtland AFB, New Mexico to the nearby White Sands facility. The width of the load will also require closure of the road for more than an hour while the module is in transit. (Guy Norris photos)