Volga-Dnepr transports booster for ExoMars mission

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Volga Dnepr Airlines AN-124 Freighter

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has transported a Breeze-M booster from Russia to Kazakhstan as part of the ExoMars mission between the European Space Agency and Russian space agency.

The 16-tonne cargo was transported on an Antonov AN-124 between Moscow and Baikonur. The payload was loaded into the AN-124 using an overhead crane and once it was delivered, the aircraft returned to Moscow.

Volga-Dnepr has operated a number of flights as part of the ExoMars mission, including three flights from Turin, Italy, to deliver Schiaparelli and Trace Gas Orbitor modules in December.

The airline says space cargo accounts for 34 per cent of its business, and in 2015 it operated 75 AN-124-100 flights for space equipment.