Volga-Dnepr Airlines have assisted the Russian Space Program by delivering Meteor-M satellite to its launch pad in Baikonour. The satellite together with its launch equipment amounted to a total cargo weight of 50 tons.
The meticulous loading operation took place through the night in order that the Russian aircraft met its scheduled delivery to Baikonour. The hi-tech cargo was shipped onboard a 124-100 freighter from Ramenskoye Airport to Yubileiny Airport, Kazakhstan. Having been packed in a specialized container, Meteor-M was loaded through the freighter’s aft cargo door. Specialists were able to monitor temperature, pressure, humidity and load throughout the journey using sensors placed inside the container.
Meteor-M is a component of the Meteor-3M space exploration project. It will comprise one of a series of advanced satellites collecting hydrometeorological and heliogeophysical data. Its launch is intended for mid-September 2009 when it is expected to orbit the earth for the next five years.