Antenna launch a success

Jon Lawson

Relief was evident at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, at the German Aerospace Centre (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in Bonn, and at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (MPIO) in Radolfzell on Lake Constance. A Russian Soyuz 2-1A launcher and a Progress cargo spacecraft carrying the antenna block for the German-Russian project ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) set off for the International Space Station (ISS), which orbits Earth at an altitude of 400 kilometres. 

"The Russian Progress MS-08 cargo spacecraft carries approximately 2500 kilograms of supplies, of which about 200 kilograms are allotted to ICARUS – the most technically advanced project for animal observation from space," explained Johannes Weppler, ICARUS Project Manager at the DLR Space Administration in Bonn. "We are very happy that ICARUS will soon enter its operational phase after several years of intensive preparation and that the hardware required for this – the antenna and on board computer will soon both be at the Zvezda module in the Russian sector of the space station." The computer was already transported to the ISS by a Soyuz launcher in October 2017.