A protective container specially designed for the new family of telecommunications satellites developed under ESA’s Spacebus Neo Partnership Project has arrived in Cannes.
The impressive container measures 14 x 5.4 x 4.2 metres and weighs 23 tonnes empty, or between 30 and 37 tonnes with a satellite inside.
It is temperature and pressure controlled, hermetically sealed to maintain the cleanliness of the satellite and has a damping system to absorb shocks and vibrations during transport.
The container can be used to transport satellites to launch sites as different as Kourou in French Guiana or Baikonur in Russia.
Satellite-maker Thales Alenia Space selected Garofoli, an engineering firm based in Terni, Italy, to design and build the container to the challenging requirements.
The first Spacebus Neo satellite, Eutelsat Konnect, will soon be loaded into the container at Thales Alenia Space’s manufacturing site.
The container and its precious cargo will then be driven by truck to Nice airport, loaded onto a huge Antonov cargo plane and flown to the launch site, Europe’s spaceport in Kourou.