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Pinned April 29, 2013 via bookmarklet
Giant truck set for sky-high task
A colossal 28-wheel truck that will help build a major telescope array in the Chilean Andes
The giant vehicle will heave antennas – each weighing 115 tonnes – up a mountainside to the site of the array, a plateau 5,000m above sea level.
The antenna transporter is 10m wide, 20m long and 6m high. It weighs 130 tonnes and has as much power as two Formula 1 engines.
The first of two vehicles has been put through its paces at the firm Scheuerle Fahrzeugfabrik near Stuttgart in Germany.
The vehicles will have to haul their heavy cargo safely from the 2,900m-high Alma base camp, where the antennas are assembled, to the array site, which lies at 5,000m – about half the cruising altitude of a 747.
Because of the low oxygen content of the air at 5,000m, vehicle operators will need to wear portable oxygen canisters. The backrests of the driver seats are shaped to allow the driver to wear his oxygen tank while driving.
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