September 21 - Volga-Dnepr Airlines has transported the European Space Agency's (ESA) Sentinel-5P satellite on board one of its AN-124 aircraft, on behalf of Airbus Defence and Space.
The satellite was transported in a special container from London Stansted Airport, UK to Archangelsk, Russia.
The AN-124's internal crane loaded the satellite, while two nitrogen purge containers were used to keep the satellite container topped with nitrogen. The container measured 5.8 m x 2.8 m x 2.6 m and weighed 6 tonnes.
The cargo was delivered to London Stansted Airport from the Airbus Defence and Space facility in Stevenage, UK, where the satellite was constructed and tested.
Following its arrival in Archangelsk, the satellite completed the final 250 km of its journey by train to Russia's Plesetsk spaceport.
According to Alexander Kraynov, commercial director at Volga-Dnepr Airlines, the Sentinel-5P will now undergo further tests in Plesetsk over the coming weeks ahead of its scheduled launch on October 13.
The Sentinel-5P satellite will map the entire planet daily, delivering global detailed maps of air pollutants.