Volga-Dnepr Airlines has partnered with Bollore Logistics to deliver the first European Space Module (ESM) for an important space mission, taking place in 2022.
The 14-ton module was transported in a special container to maintain precise temperature and pressure conditions, as well as 10 tons of support equipment on one of Volga-Dnepr’s Antonov AN-124-100s.
The cargo flew from Bremen, Germany to Titusville, USA in preparation for its installation on the Orion spacecraft and testing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The module provides the spacecraft with propulsion, power, water and oxygen supplies as well as thermal control.
The first unmanned Orion mission is scheduled for 2020 and will take the spacecraft more than 64,000 kilometres beyond the Moon.
Two years later, the first human spacecraft will transport astronauts further into space than ever before as part of the programme to collect scientific data to develop the ability of humans to travel to Mars.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines executive president for cargo charter operations, Konstantin Vekshin says: “It is an honour for us to be supporting such a significant and historic endeavour. Providing specialist transportation for the aerospace industry is one of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ key areas of expertise and every year we operate more than 50 flights carrying various space cargoes, including satellites, parts of spacecraft, rockets and boosters.”