Heavylift / Breakbulk
In orbit for 15 years
Project transport tasks for space flights are always demanding, on account of the sensitive cargo. A French and a Ukrainian firm recently teamed up with a US entity to ship a South Korean ‘Army Navy Air Force Satellite Information System’ unit (Anasis) to its launch pad.
South Korea wants to fly high. The East Asian country has had its own space programme in place roughly since the end of the 1980s. One of the scheme’s highlights includes plans for an unmanned moon landing in 2025. In the meantime the country has launched many of its earth-observation satellites into space, with the Anasis II the latest in line. It started its journey into space at the USA’s Cape Canaveral space port on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 20 July. The unit was a military communications satellite ordered from Airbus Defence and Space. Its mission is due to last 15 years.
Total weight at 36 t
Before it assumes its geo-stationary position soon, the satellite first had to be transported from southern France to Florida.
Bolloré Logistics was mandated to manage the transfer, and the forwarder recruited Ukraine’s Antonov Airlines as a partner for the task. One of the airline’s seven AN-124-100s took the Anasis II, loaded in its 11 m long container weighing 18 t, on board in Toulouse and flew it across the Atlantic, together with its launch equipment, which brought the payload to 36 t.
The project provided Antonov Airlines, which specialises in particularly large and heavy loads, and its partner, with the opportunity to test its new lightweight, low-profile loading equipment. The Antonov Company said that this equipment is the only type of its kind and has been specially-designed and manufactured by the corporation to transport almost any satellite container.
Can handle almost every satellite
Andriy Blagovisniy, Antonov Airlines commercial director, said that the flight and the successful trial-loading operation went well: he went on to “thank our valued partner Bolloré Logistics for our long-term cooperation and for trusting Antonov Airlines with this air transport task. The successful and smooth performance of this flight was the result of well-coordinated teamwork between all parties involved.”
Yorann Marc, Bolloré Logistics project department manager in Toulouse, said that Antonov Airlines “once again demonstrated its high level of technical skills,” adding that “I’m always confident in our Ukrainian partner’s capacities to move our most sensitive cargo safely and on time.”