Thứ Năm, Tháng Tư 18, 2024
Google search engine
HomeLISTENING NASA's secret weapon

[Mp4] NASA’s secret weapon

On the 16th of July 1969, the Saturn 5 rocket left Earth – taking the Apollo 11 crew to the Moon. This enormous rocket was key to achieving President Kennedy’s goal of landing a man on the Moon by the end of the decade.

 

But without the help from an incredibly unique aircraft, the Apollo program’s golden moment might not have happened in time. The aircraft in question was called Guppy.

 

In the early 60’s, NASA were working on the Gemini Project – a series of crewed spaceflight missions which would demonstrate the technologies needed to go to the Moon.

 

As the decade went on, NASA found themselves working on much larger rockets. With the designs for the massive Saturn 5 rocket taking shape, it was clear that transporting these giant rocket parts to the launch site was going to be an enormous challenge.

 

Although the Saturn 5 launched from Florida, many sections of the rocket were made by different companies across the United States. Each stage was too large to be transported by truck or train – so the only option was to send them on a barge. For some stages, this involved a 20-day journey around Mexico via the Panama Canal – not ideal for a program that was already under immense time pressure.

 

At the same time, US airlines were replacing their Boeing 377 Stratocruisers with more modern jet-engined airliners. Ex-airforce pilot John Conroy was aware of NASA’s transportation problems and saw this as an opportunity.

 

He bought two Stratocruisers from an aircraft broker and began converting them with his new company Aero Spacelines.

 

They began by cutting one of the Stratocruisers in half and inserting a section from the other stratocruiser to lengthen the vehicle by 5 meters. Then, to increase the size of the cargo bay, they built a new fuselage on top of the aircraft with a massive 6-meter diameter.

 

Despite the new fuselage, Guppy only weighed 1.3 tonnes more than the original plane it was made from. However, the enormous new shape caused a significant amount of drag and the aircraft could only fly at a cruising speed of 360km/h.

 

NASA were very doubtful that the plane could even leave the ground – let alone carry their enormous rocket parts across the country. So, Conroy flew Guppy to NASA’s spaceflight center in Houston to give them a demonstration.

 

After showing the plane’s ability to fly safely, NASA were impressed and immediately began putting Guppy to work. The aircraft began transporting components for the Gemini program, cutting a 20-day journey down to just 18 hours.

 

As the Apollo program began to develop, NASA was under a lot of pressure to assemble and launch the first Saturn 5 rocket – but Guppy’s flaws were starting to show.

 

In order to load cargo into the plane, the entire rear section of the aircraft had to be unbolted and wheeled away. The cargo bay wasn’t pressurized, meaning certain payloads couldn’t fly on the aircraft due to the change in pressure during flight.

 

But when it came time to assemble the gigantic Saturn 5, Guppy wasn’t big enough to carry the massive 3rd stage, which was urgently needed for the first flight test.

 

This time, the aircraft was built using a military Stratocruiser, which was lengthened by an extra 10 metres. The new fuselage had a diameter of 7.6 meters, much wider than the previous version. The new cargo bay was also fully pressurized, allowing more payloads to be transported.

 

This larger version of the aircraft was now capable of carrying sections of the Saturn 5 rocket, including the 3rd stage and the all-important instrument unit.

 

The first Saturn 5 launch was scheduled for 1967 and despite some stages being a year behind schedule, Super Guppy delivered many of its payloads a year earlier than those traveling by barge.

 

In November of 1967, the first ever Saturn 5 lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center, less than two years before Apollo 11 would land on the Moon.

 

Over the next few years, Guppy flew over a million kilometers, carrying enormous sections of delicate rocketry for the Gemini and Apollo programs. Without Guppy, transporting and assembling the Saturn 5 rocket would have put NASA months, perhaps years, behind schedule.

 

In a program which had suffered major delays, Apollo 11 achieved Kennedy’s goal with just 5 months to spare.

 

Over the next couple of years, multiple variations of Guppy were produced to handle NASA’s transportation needs.

 

This fleet continued to support NASA during the Skylab program in the 70’s and the International Space Station program in the late 90’s. Despite being an aircraft from the 60’s, NASA still uses Guppy today to transport its largest components.

 

After playing a role in one of humanity’s greatest achievements, Guppy went on to inspire a new breed of aircraft like the Airbus Beluga, which can carry entire aircraft fuselages in its cargo bay.

 

Although many cargo planes have surpassed Guppy in terms of capability, it will always be remembered as the aircraft that saved the Apollo program. Its distinctive design came at a time when engineers were pushing the limits of their imaginations in order to achieve a seemingly impossible goal.

 

Source: Primal Space

WORD BANK:

enormous /ɪˈnɔː.məs/ [B1] (adj): khổng lồ

incredibly /ɪnˈkred.ə.bli/ [C1] (adv): cực kỳ, vô cùng

sb/sth in question [C2] (expression): người / vật được đề cập tới

crewed /kruːd/ (adj): có người lái, có phi hành đoàn

demonstrate /ˈdem.ən.streɪt/ [B2] (v): thể hiện, cho thấy

across /əˈkrɒs/ (pre): trên khắp

barge /bɑːdʒ/ (n): sà lan

immense /ɪˈmens/ [C1] (adj): to lớn

broker /ˈbrəʊ.kər/ (n): nhà môi giới

convert /kənˈvɜːt/ [B2] (v): chuyển đổi

cargo bay /ˈkɑː.ɡəʊ beɪ/ (n): khoang chở hàng

fuselage /ˈfjuː.zəl.ɑːʒ/ (n): thân máy bay

diameter /daɪˈæm.ɪ.tər/ (n): đường kính

drag /dræɡ/ (n): lực cản

cruising speed /ˈkruː.zɪŋ ˌspiːd/ (n): tốc độ hành trình

doubtful /ˈdaʊt.fəl/ [B2] (adj): nghi ngờ

let alone sth [C1] (expression): chưa nói đến cái gì

assemble /əˈsem.bəl/ [C2] (v): lắp ráp

flaw /flɔː/ [C1] (n): khuyết điểm

rear /rɪər/ [B2] (n, adj): phía sau

unbolt /ʌn.ˈbəʊlt/ (v): tháo chốt

pressurize /ˈpreʃ.ər.aɪz/ (v): điều áp

payload /ˈpeɪ.ləʊd/ (n): trọng tải, hàng hóa

gigantic /ˌdʒaɪˈɡæn.tɪk/ (adj): khổng lồ

delicate /ˈdel.ɪ.kət/ [C1] (adj): tinh vi

spare /speər/ (v): thừa

variation /ˌveə.riˈeɪ.ʃən/ [B2] (n): biến thể

handle /ˈhæn.dəl/ (v): đáp ứng, xử lý

fleet /fliːt/ [C1] (n): phi đội, hạm đội

breed /briːd/ [B2] (n): dòng, giống

surpass /səˈpɑːs/ [C2] (v): vượt qua

capability /ˌkeɪ.pəˈbɪl.ə.ti/ [C1] (n): sức chứa

distinctive /dɪˈstɪŋk.tɪv/ [C1] (adj): đặc biệt

seemingly /ˈsiː.mɪŋ.li/ [C1] (adv): dường như


NG HỘ READ TO LEAD!

Chào bạn! Có thể bạn chưa biết, Read to Lead là một trang giáo dục phi lợi nhuận với mục đích góp phần phát triển cộng đồng người học tiếng Anh tại Việt Nam. Chúng tôi không yêu cầu người đọc phải trả bất kỳ chi phí nào để sử dụng các sản phẩm của mình để mọi người đều có cơ hội học tập tốt hơn. Tuy nhiên, nếu bạn có thể, chúng tôi mong nhận được sự hỗ trợ tài chính từ bạn để duy trì hoạt động của trang và phát triển các sản phẩm mới.

Bạn có thể ủng hộ chúng tôi qua 1 trong 2 cách dưới đây.
– Cách 1: Chuyển tiền qua tài khoản Momo.
Số điện thoại 0947.886.865 (Chủ tài khoản: Nguyễn Tiến Trung)
Nội dung chuyển tiền: Ủng hộ Read to Lead
hoặc
– Cách 2: Chuyển tiền qua tài khoản ngân hàng.
Ngân hàng VIB chi nhánh Hải Phòng
Số tài khoản: 012704060048394 (Chủ tài khoản: Nguyễn Tiến Trung)
Nội dung chuyển tiền: Ủng hộ Read to Lead


Lớp luyện thi IELTS online

Bạn đang có nhu cầu thi chứng chỉ IELTS cho đầu vào đại học, đi du học, xin việc hay xin cư trú và đang phân vân chưa biết học ở đâu?

Nếu bạn đang tìm kiếm dịch vụ luyện thi IELTS online với giáo viên uy tín và chất lượng, cũng như học phí phải chăng, thì thầy Trung (Admin và dịch giả chính của Read to Lead) có thể là một lựa chọn phù hợp dành cho bạn. 

Hãy liên hệ (nhắn tin) tới trang Facebook cá nhân của mình (https://www.facebook.com/nguyen.trung.509) để tìm hiểu về lớp học và được tư vấn cũng như được học thử nha!

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular