No, it's not a flying whale. It's a Super Guppy. A huge aircraft that can transport very large cargo and one was spotted flying through Colorado skies on Wednesday, December 8.

Neighborhood websites south of Denver lit up with people asking "what was that huge low flying plane"? Responses included "the tail said NASA", "looked like a flying whale", "it was soo low" and "it was actually hovering in place for a while".

Super Guppy flying over Colorado/Jeff Williams
Super Guppy flying over Colorado/Jeff Williams
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According to Wikipedia "one Super Guppy remains in service with NASA. Three are on display, and one was scrapped." The Super Guppy that is still running is in service with NASA and is based in El Paso, Texas. Supposedly it is the last one in the world.

There is an article on NASA's website titled "NASA’s Super Guppy Arrives in California with Future Artemis Heat Shield". That article talked about the use of the NASA Super Guppy to transport a heat shield skin on November 9, 2021 for a future mission of NASA's Orion spacecraft.

The article went on to say that "the recently delivered heat shield skin will undergo heat- and pressure-treatment at Lockheed Martin's facility in Sunnyvale, California. The heat shield skin is made up of many layers of carbon fabric that are activated by a resin. Once cured, the resin will first soften, then harden to consolidate the skin. The heat- and pressure-treatment will give the skin the necessary mechanical strength properties it needs for Orion's thermal protection system."

Wow, right? We can only assume since there is a Lockheed Martin location in Littleton and another in Colorado Springs, the Super Guppy flying overhead had something to do with a super cool heat shield headed for space.

Artemis 4 Orion heat shield skin arrival on Super Guppy aircraft at Moffet Airfield.
Don Richey
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NASA/Ames Research Center/Don Richey
NASA/Ames Research Center/Don Richey
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