Angara Test Launch Retry Expected Today – UPDATE

Angara Test Launch Retry Expected Today – UPDATE

UPDATE, July 9, 2014, 8:12 am ET:  Russia’s Interfax news agency published a headline at 8:06 am ET that Angara had been launched.

ORIGINAL STORY, July 9, 2014, 5:35 am ET:  Russia is expected to make a second attempt to test launch its new Angara rocket this morning (July 9).   The first attempt was scrubbed on June 27.

Russia’s Interfax news service and other Russian media sources report that the launch is scheduled for this afternoon Moscow time, although the exact time is not specified.  Bob Christy at calculates that a several-hour launch window will open at 12:15 GMT (8:15 am Eastern Daylight Time). 

This is a suborbital test launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome near the Arctic Circle that will last about 25 minutes and end at the Kura Test Range on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, the termination point for many Russian missile tests.

Whether or not the test launch will be televised like the June 27 attempt is unknown.   Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, promised live television coverage of a routine space launch yesterday of a Soyuz rocket carrying a weather satellite and several smaller satellites.  It did, but ended the transmission about half an hour before the launch (which was successful).  Russian space expert Anatoly Zak of wryly refers to it as a “detelevized” launch.  The agency does have a link on its website for live webcasts, so it may be available there. 

The launch is of the smallest version of Angara, a family of rockets under development for about 20 years that eventually will replace most of the Soviet-era rockets now in use.   The June 27 launch was aborted in the final minute or so of the countdown because of a bad valve.

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