Prior to launching a communication satellite into orbit, an air transport performed by a large AN-124 of the Ukrainian capacity provider was necessary. It took from Bengaluru, India to Cayenne in French Guyana.
The mission for getting the space vehicle GSAT-31 safely from the capital city of south Indian Karnataka state to the launching site of the Ariane 5 rocket in Guyana was managed by Flywell
Aviation, Antonov Airlines’ Indian general sales agent. The specialized GSA staff coordinated closely with the heavy lift airline and the authorities to meet all requirements demanded by the
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to get the satellite weighing 18,000 kilograms and stowed in a special container airborne.
“Together with Flywell Aviation, our engineers used data-loggers to record g-forces, pressures, and temperatures so that ISRO could inspect the data post-flight and give a green light to launch the GSAT-31 satellite into orbit,” explained Michael Goodisman, Business Development Director at Antonov Airlines, the challenging mission.
Next satellite transport by Antonov to come
“Antonov Airlines worked closely with us to ensure all necessary precautions were in place for the movement of this sensitive satellite cargo, and we are very satisfied with the service level provided,” stated Anil Bal, Managing Director of Flywell Aviation.
All went well from A to Z. Meanwhile, GSAT-31 is in orbit, carried into space as twinned launch together with a U.S. satellite by an Ariane 5 rocket.
It was already the second mission, following GSAT-11 that was shot into space last October, traveling on board an Antonov AN-124 from Bengaluru to Cayenne as well. The last satellite in this series is set to be delivered later this year.