No New Launch Date for Angara Yet, Could be "Weeks"

No New Launch Date for Angara Yet, Could be "Weeks"

No new launch date has been set for the Angara rocket and Russian officials indicate that it will be quite some time before the next attempt is made.  A suborbital test launch was scrubbed on June 27 and the rocket has been rolled back to its assembly and test facility.

Oleg Ostapenko, Director of Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, said yesterday (July 2) that they want to diagnose and fix the problem as soon as possible, but “one should not jump at conclusions” and what is most important is preventing “another mishap.” 

A day earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said he expected it would be “weeks” and downplayed the delay, pointing out that it is a new rocket and “needs testing to polish it off.”

The approximately 25 minute test flight of the smallest version of Angara will take place from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome near the Arctic Circle.  It will terminate 5,700 kilometers away at the Kura range on the Kamchatka Peninsula, a Russian site routinely used as the termination point for missile tests.

The Angara rocket family has been in development by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center for the past 20 years, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and is intended to replace most of the Soviet-era rockets, including Proton, currently the largest.   The most capable version of Angara now in development will be able to loft 25 tons into low Earth orbit.

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