Commercial satellite flown to NASA facility in Florida
An Intelsat commercial satellite recently headed to a NASA Shuttle Landing Facility in Titusville, Florida, USA, where it will be launched by the US aerospace company SpaceX. The unit was transported from Moffet Federal Airfield, Mountain View, California, onboard one of Antonov’s AN-124-100M aircraft.
The cargo with total weight of more than 55,000 kilograms consisted of 8 pieces, including Intelsat 40e (IS-40e) satellite and its hosted payload in a container measuring 1280 cm in length, 488 cm in width, and 419 cm in height, along with associated parts and support equipment. To оnload and offload cargo, a special Antonov-made ramp system was used in conjunction with onboard winches and cranes as well as external cranes.
“Due to the nature of the cargo, AN-124-100 is the only aircraft available that can haul the size and weight (approx. 36,000 kg) of the spacecraft shipping container. In addition, the AN-124-100 does not require special ground support equipment to load and unload the cargo,” said Virginia Lloyd, Maxar’s director of Global Logistics and Warehouse Management.
More coverage over North America
Intelsat IS-40e will provide focused coverage over North America for commercial aviation, maritime, land mobility and networks customers, and its hosted payload, a NASA instrument called Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO), will observe air pollution across North America.
“The satellite was assembled and tested at Maxar and then delivered to the Cape Canaveral launch site. Customers needed sufficient processing lead time for the scheduled launch by a Falcon 9 rocket. Thus, surface transportation was not a viable option to meet the launch schedule. Therefore, air transportation by AN-124-100M was the best option to deliver this high-value satellite on time,” said Iryna Kyianytsia, Commercial Executive, Antonov Airlines.