February 25 - World Distribution Services (WDS) has been awarded a contract by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) to help coordinate the transport of a new radio telescope from the USA to Greenland.
The telescope is being shipped as part of the Greenland Telescope Project, which will see the radio telescope synchronised with two others, located in Hawaii and Chile, to act as one one large telescope in the hope of capturing an image of a black hole.
Timothy Norton, manager of the Greenland Telescope Project, explained that WDS was chosen to coordinate the project logistics due to its proximity to the Port of Virginia.
"Thule Air Base [the Greenland assembly location], only receives one shipment per year, making the timing of sending over the telescope pieces vital to the progression of this initiative," said Norton.
John Morrow, vice president of WDS, explained that the telescope project will allow the company to showcase its project cargo capabilities.
The pre-shipment assembly and testing is being taken place at the WDS facility in Norfolk, Virginia, to ensure that all components are able to sustain the cold climate in Greenland.
Following testing, the components will be shipped to the Thule Air Base in late July or early August, reassembled and placed on oversized sleds before being delivered 10,500 ft (3.2 km) inland, where the telescope will be permanently housed.
The consignment will include ten containers and four oversize loads, with the largest unit weighing around 27 tonnes.