Volga-Dnepr Transports 32-metre Atlas 5 Rocket Boosters for NASA
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Volga-Dnepr Transports 32-metre Atlas 5 Rocket Boosters for NASA

The AN-124-100 ‘Ruslan’ is the only aircraft capable of carrying the outsized cargo

TLME News Service

Volga-Dnepr has successfully transported a 32-metre-long Atlas 5 rocket booster from Huntsville, Alabama to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a scheduled mission to Mars.

The AN-124-100 ‘Ruslan’, is the only aircraft large enough to carry the Atlas 5. In addition to the over-length piece, Volga-Dnepr also transported payload fairings and RD-180 engines for the special mission.

After unloading the unique cargo piece from the aircraft, ULA moved the rocket into the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center for post-shipment checks.

The high profile delivery signaled the start of a new phase of launch preparations for the Perseverance Rover, the centerpiece of NASA’s $2.5 billion Mars 2020 mission.

The launch is scheduled at 9:10 a.m. on July 17.

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