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Russia Test-Launches New Rocket

Angara-A5 rocket diagram
Angara-A5 rocket
The Russian space agency has launched a new heavy version and ecologically clean rocket  Angara. The booster rocket has delivered its test payload right into geostationary orbit – 36,000 kilometers from the Equator.

“A 08:57 Moscow time, the heavy-class rocket Angara-A5 was launched by a Space Forces crew of the Arkhangelsk Region from the universal launch site of the state test facility of the Russian Defense Ministry [the Plesetsk Cosmodrome],” the Russian ministry said in a statement.

The successful launch was reported by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu who was monitoring the launch form Moscow via a video link and he thanked all those involved in the project.

Radio controlers confirmed that the two-ton payload had been delivered successfully into a geostationary orbit at 36,000 kilometers.

This is the first time a heavy rocket has been launched straight into a geostationary orbit, usually trials are performed into a low orbit with altitudes of up to 2,000 kilometers before moving to higher altitudes.

The Angara’s third stage that was used in the trial is the tried and tested Birz-M, which is probably why the Russian military and the rocket designers chose to start with a more challenging task.

The first stage of the Angara-5 rocket is capable of delivering up to 25 tons to a low orbit. It is powered by RD-191, arguably the world’s best “clean” engine that uses kerosene and oxygen as fuel.

Angara-A5 rocket pre launch
“This engine could be put to use up to 10 times, possibly even more,” the first deputy director at the Khrunichev Center, Aleksandr Medvedev, told Rossiyskaya Gazeta two days before the launch.

The brand new Angara rocket is the first space booster designed from scratch in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The development of the rocket family began at the Moscow-based Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center back in 1994. Two decades of design work and scientific research have cost the government approximately $3 billion.

Angara rockets use the module principle in their production, enabling to assemble a booster of necessary payload capability using standard modules.

Even today Khrunichev can produce 10 Angara-5 boosters a year – and is ready to increase production if there is demand, Medvedev said.




Russia Test-Launches New Rocket

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