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 on 23rd July 2009. 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.