Volga-Dnepr Airlines has delivered the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Sentinel-5P satellite to Russia, which will provide air quality and climate data for the planet after its launch next month.
The satellite was transported in a special container along with support equipment for its Antonov AN-124-100 flight from London Stansted Airport to Archangelsk in Northwest Russia.
During the load process, which utilised the AN-124-100’s internal crane, two nitrogen purge containers were used to keep the satellite container topped up with nitrogen.
The cargo was delivered to Stansted from the Airbus Defence and Space facility in Stevenage, where the satellite was put together and tested, and after arriving in Archangelsk, the satellite completed the final 250 kilometres of its journey by train to Russia’s Plesetsk spaceport.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines commercial director, Alexander Kraynov says: “Working closely with our partner, Airbus Defence and Space, we have once again demonstrated our expertise in moving high value and highly sensitive satellite technology.”
“The Sentinel-5P will now undergo further tests in Plesetsk over the coming weeks ahead of its scheduled launch on 13 October. We wish the project team every success with this latest Sentinel liftoff for the EU’s Copernicus environmental monitoring network.”
The Sentinel-5P satellite will map the entire planet every day, delivering global maps of air pollutants in more detail than ever before, providing timely data on a multitude of trace gases and aerosols affecting air quality and climate.
The European Union’s Copernicus environmental monitoring network, an EU flagship space initiative, provides operational information on the world’s land surfaces, oceans and atmosphere to support environmental and security policymaking, and meets the needs of citizens and service providers.
Volga-Dnepr says forward bookings for satellite flights reflect a healthy outlook for the market, and this year has already delivered satellites to the Cayenne launch site in French Guiana, Baikonur in Kazakhstan, Vandenberg in California, and Cape Canaveral in Florida.