The Russian cargo carrier has transported an X-ray telescope named eROSITA on board a Jumbo freighter from its production site in Bavaria, Germany to Moscow. It was an important, yet only
very small stretch as compared to the instrument’s forthcoming 1.5 million kilometer journey into the universe.
Due to the high sensivity of the device, eROSITA can be classified as an extraordinary shipment flown by AirBridgeCargo from Munich to Moscow. Each strong vibration, temperature deviation or penetration of moisture or dust particles could have harmed the delicate instrument, ruining the work of months if not years. But all went well; the device arrived Moscow in exactly the same shape it had left Munich before.
German-Russian Joint Venture project
The X-ray telescope’s future mission consists of producing an entirely new map of the universe, hopefully revealing how large cosmic structures evolve. Once in space, eROSITA is scheduled to perform eight surveys of the entire universe over a four-year period.
The eROSITA telescope is a German-Russian joint venture project that commenced in 2007 between both countries. Prior to its journey into space next year, the telescope will undergo further testing before it is integrated with the Spectrum-Roentgen-Gamma (SRG) spacecraft, which also carries the Russian telescope “ART-XC”. Both instruments will be launched with a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur launch site in the steppe of Kazakhstan and which is scheduled to take place in spring of next year. Once brought into orbit eROSITA will take three months to arrive at its final destination some 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
Extensive experience in carrying sensitive shipments
After the telescope’s safe arrival in Moscow, Walter Morris, Sales Manager at AirBridgeCargo, stated somewhat relieved and proud that all went well on this extremely demanding mission. “We are very elated by the outcome of this transport and to have closely cooperated with our customer DHL to accomplish this demanding project.” Walter went on to say: “Along with our parent company, Volga-Dnepr Group, we have extensive experience of delivering highly sensitive space cargoes such as satellites, and this expertise was certainly invaluable in demonstrating our credentials to the partners in this project.”