Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates airline has successfully executed a cargo charter to transport the Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 from Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil to Chennai, India. This is the first time that Emirates SkyCargo has transported a space satellite from South America.
Amazonia-1 is the first satellite to have been developed completely in Brazil by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil’s apex body dedicated for space research and exploration. The satellite took eight years to be developed and once launched into space, will help monitor the ecosystem of the Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest tropical rainforest. The satellite is due to be sent to space in February 2021 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the East coast of India.
Emirates SkyCargo had to undertake extensive preparations for this charter flight to ensure the safe and secure transport of the satellite. The air cargo carrier had to apply for special permission to operate a Boeing 777 freighter from Sao Jose dos Campos airport to uplift the satellite. Emirates SkyCargo together with the INPE, the airport and local partners conducted two comprehensive simulation sessions ahead of the transport date to be able to transport the sensitive cargo safely from the airport.
During the transportation process, the Amazonia-1 satellite was dismantled into multiple components to facilitate easy loading and unloading from the aircraft. The satellite components were packed inside large containers to avoid any damage during the transport. Overall, the total cargo weighed around 22 tonnes. Four members of the team from INPE also travelled with the satellite to continuously monitor the status of the cargo during the flight from Sao Jose dos Campos to Dubai and then onwards to Chennai, India.
Emirates SkyCargo has expertise in transporting satellites and other cargo developed for space technology. In 2018, the carrier transported Khalifasat, the first satellite developed completely by Emirati engineers at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre from Dubai to Seoul.
In Brazil, Emirates SkyCargo operates scheduled cargo flights to Sao Paulo and Viracopos airports, allowing exporters and importers from the country to connect with their global customers.