Airports

Wide-body aircraft Antonov An-124 transports climate-monitoring satellite from Munich Airport to the USA

Antonov An-124 being loaded at Munich Airport

At the end of last week an Antonov An-124 transported a climate-monitoring satellite from Munich Airport to the USA.

The four-engined transport aircraft was flying on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA).

On board was the climate-monitoring satellite “EarthCARE” (Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer).

The “EarthCARE” satellite constructed by Airbus is a joint project between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and will investigate the role played by clouds and aerosols in reflecting solar radiation into space and in capturing infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface.

The project is supported by more than 200 research institutes around the world.

After taking off from Munich Airport on Friday evening, the Antonov aircraft transported the satellite to the SpaceX launch site in Vandenberg, California.

The launch is scheduled for May with a Falcon 9 rocket. The 2.3-ton satellite was loaded with great care over several hours by cargo experts from Munich Airport, a freight forwarder, and the crew of the Antonov.

With a wingspan in excess of 74 meters and an empty weight of 173 tons, the Antonov An-124 is one of the largest transport aircraft in the world.

Share
.