SSETI Express, the first spacecraft to be designed and built by European students, has set off on the first stage of its journey into space. It left ESTEC in the Netherlands yesterday and is now on its way to Plesetsk, the Russian cosmodrome from where it will be launched on 25 August.
Its journey to Russia will take considerably longer than its journey into space. It left ESTEC, ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands, by special truck yesterday afternoon and arrived at Hahn airport near Frankfurt this morning. The next step of its journey will take place tomorrow, when it is sent by cargo plane to Moscow.
Before it can continue its journey by special military plane to Plesetsk, in the Archangel region of Russia, it has to be cleared through customs. The cargo is classed as dangerous goods because the spacecrafts pressure management system contains pyrotechnics and both the spacecraft and its payload contain batteries.
Philippe Willekens | EurekAlert!
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