October 28 - Volga-Dnepr Airlines has delivered a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket booster from Huntsville, Alabama to Cape Canaveral, Florida on board one of its AN-124-100 freighters.
The delivery of the 31-tonne rocket booster, which was required to ensure an advanced weather observatory could be launched into space, was delayed by the arrival of Hurricane Matthew and the subsequent closing of the airfield in Cape Canaveral.
With the cargo already loaded on board, Volga-Dnepr decided to keep the unit inside the AN-124 aircraft until the storm passed, in order to ensure the consignment was delivered on time ahead of the planned launched date in November.
Matthew Thear, customer service manager at Volga-Dnepr, explained that the airline has been moving rocket hardware for ULA for almost 20 years.
"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."