Emirates carries Brazilian satellite to India for February 2021 launch

This was the first time that Emirates SkyCargo had transported a space satellite from South America

Emirates carries Brazilian satellite to India for February 2021 launch
An Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777F. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Adrian Pingstone

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates airline, has carried the Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 from Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil to Chennai in India. This was the first time that Emirates SkyCargo had 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 in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

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Emirates SkyCargo had to apply for special permission to operate a Boeing 777 freighter from the Sao Jose dos Campos airport to uplift the satellite, the airline said. The air cargo carrier together with the INPE, the airport and local partners had conducted two simulation sessions ahead of the transport date.

During the transportation on December 30, 2020, the 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. 

The total cargo weighed around 22 tonnes. Four INPE members also travelled with the satellite to continuously monitor the status of the cargo during the flight.

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In 2018, Emirates SkyCargo had transported Khalifasat, the first satellite developed completely by UAE engineers at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre from Dubai to Seoul in South Korea.

In Brazil, Emirates SkyCargo operates scheduled cargo flights to Sao Paulo and Viracopos airports.

(Cover image courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Adrian Pingstone)