Trip to the stars
A highlight in the area of special transports: In June, Universal Transport transported a satellite for the ESA mission Earth CARE (Cloud, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer). It was the most valuable load in the company’s history. The satellite will be used as part of the Earth CARE mission, a joint venture between the European Space Agency and the Japanese space agency JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). The launch of this large and most complex earth exploration mission to date is scheduled for 2023.
The satellite was loaded in Immenstaad on Lake Constance. Three of the manufacturer’s employees joined the three-night transport in an escort vehicle. During the day, a security company kept a close eye on the valuable load, which was stored in a container for the transport.
“The challenge wasn’t the dimensions (4.2 m wide and nearly 4m high) or the weight of the freight for once, but the high value of such satellite,” explained branch manager Stephan Stender.
On June the 13th, the team started the first part of the journey from Lake Constance to the Hockenheim service station. After the second night, the convoy arrived at the border crossing in Venlo. The third stage led to the finish line at ESTEC in Noordwijk in the Netherlands. The European Space Research and Technology Centre is the technical heart of ESA, where most ESA projects such as Earth CARE are developed.
“It was a great honour for us to be able to carry out this special transport. After eight months of careful preparation, we were able to complete the order on time,” said project manager Maik Heese.
Earth CARE will use high-performance lidar and radar technology like never before in space. The aim is to provide data that will enable scientists to study the connection between clouds, aerosols and radiation with a level of detail previously not possible, to understand climate change processes better.