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Russia launches first heavy booster rocket from the Far East

The Angara-A5 is designed to deliver equipment into space, according to Roscosmos

Russia has launched its Angara-A5 heavy-lift rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far East for the first time, the country’s space agency Roscosmos announced on Thursday.

The previous three Angara-A5 launches took place at Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

The launch was initially scheduled for Tuesday, but two take-offs were canceled at the last minute due to a failure in a pressurizing system in an oxidizer tank and the engine control system, according to Roscosmos head Yury Borisov.

Thursday’s successful launch took place a day before Russia celebrates Cosmonaut Day, which marks the anniversary of Yury Gagarin’s historic flight 63 years ago, which made him the first man in space.

The launch put a test load in low orbit as part of Russia’s efforts to develop a new space booster.

“Today, the Orion upper stage, launched by the first Angara-A5 launch vehicle, delivered the Gagarinets lightweight satellite into low Earth orbit,” Roscosmos said in a social media post shortly after the launch, adding that “the rocket worked according to plan.”

“With this launch, flight design tests of the Amur space rocket complex, with Angara heavy-class launch vehicles at Vostochny begins,” the agency announced.

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Touted as an ‘eco-rocket’ due to its use of kerosene and oxygen as fuel, the Angara rocket family is the first Russian space booster designed from scratch since the fall of the Soviet Union. Development originally began in the 1990s, and the first rocket was tested in 2014.

“The commissioning of the Angara will allow Russia to launch equipment of all types from its territory and provide our country with independent guaranteed access to space,” the space agency said.

April 11, 2024 at 09:16PM

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