Volga-Dnepr Airlines managed to deliver a rocket booster for a weather satellite to Cape Canaveral despite the weather doing its best to stop them.
The airline was due to operate a two and half hour flight from Huntsville carrying a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket booster when the flight had to be postponed with 15 minutes of the four hour loading to go after the Florida airfield closed with immediate effect due to Hurricane Matthew.
After consulting ULA, Volga-Dnepr held the 31-tonne load payload inside the hold of the Antonov AN-124-100 until the storm passed so the cargo could be delivered on time for the planned launch date in November.
Volga-Dnepr customer service manager, Matthew Thear says: “On this occasion, the extreme weather conditions interrupted our planned schedule but we were still able to complete the flight as soon as Cape Canaveral Air Force Station reopened after five days in support of the November launch schedule.”
The rocket is going to launch the GOES-R spacecraft, a next-generation weather satellite that will be used to observe conditions over the U.S. from geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth. The satellite will help meteorologists more accurately forecast weather patterns.