First Angara-A5 heavy rocket launches from Vostochny spaceport on third attempt

  VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME :  An Angara-A5 heavy-lift rocket with an Orion booster launched from the Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East on...

 


VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME :  An Angara-A5 heavy-lift rocket with an Orion booster launched from the Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East on its third attempt, a TASS correspondent reported from the scene.

In about 12 minutes, the Orion booster with the test payload separated from the Angara upper stage and kept delivering it into the target orbit as part of the rocket’s flight development tests.

The Angara-A5 first test-launch from the Vostochny spaceport in Russia’s Far East was initially scheduled for the afternoon of April 9 but the liftoff was cancelled by an automatic safety system two minutes before the launch due to a failure in the oxidizer tank’s pressurizing system.

The second launch attempt was made at 12:00 p.m. Moscow time (9:00 a.m. GMT) on April 10 but the command to cancel the launch and prepare the rocket for a 24-hour stoppage was issued. As Roscosmos Chief Yury Borisov explained, a new technical malfunction emerged relating to a failure in the engine start control system as the results of the telemetric data preliminary analysis showed.

The Roscosmos head assured that no irreversible processes requiring the rocket’s dismantling had occurred and technical delays were not unusual while the current testing stage was intended to identify and remove such problems.

This is the first test-flight of the Angara rocket from the Vostochny spaceport in eastern Russia. Previously, these launch vehicles blasted off only from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia.

The first three launches of Angara heavy rockets from the Plesetsk spaceport took place on December 23, 2014, December 14, 2020 and December 27, 2021. The launch of the light Angara rocket took place on July 9, 2014 (the suborbital test flight), on April 29, 2022 (the orbital flight) and October 15, 2022 (the orbital flight).

The Angara test-launch from the Vostochny spaceport has commenced flight development tests of the Amur rocket system that comprises the Angara carrier rocket and the spaceport’s infrastructure. The construction of infrastructure for the Angara rocket at the Vostochny Cosmodrome began in 2019 and late last year the operational capacity of the technical compound and the launch pad was confirmed during the tests of the Angara-NZh, a full-size mockup of the Angara-A5 rocket. Technological solutions allow for launching all types of Angara rockets from one launch pad: from light to heavy carrier vehicles.

The first Angara-A5 flight version for the Vostochny spaceport was manufactured by the Omsk-based Polyot Production Association (a branch of the Khrunichev Center within Roscosmos). In December last year, the manufacturer sent the Angara-A5 carrier rocket by railway to the Vostochny spaceport where it arrived in early January. The rocket was put on the launch pad on March 26.

Angara family of carrier rockets

The Angara is a family of next-generation Russian space rockets. It consists of light, medium and heavy carrier rockets with a lifting capacity of up to 37.5 tons. The new family of rockets uses kerosene and liquid oxygen as environmentally friendly propellant components compared to the fuel of the Proton-M rocket, which Angara will replace in the future.

Aside from the baseline Angara-A5 rocket (a liftoff mass of about 773 tons and a carrying capacity of up to 24.5 tons into low near-Earth orbit), Russia is set to produce the Angara-A5M modification with the increased lifting capacity and the Angara-A5V launch vehicle with the first and second reusable stages and the third hydrogen-powered stage.

Russia intends to use the Angara family of carrier rockets to put automatic probes (for instance, the Spektr-UF orbital observatory) into near-Earth orbit, deliver some modules of its future Russian Orbital Station and crews to the orbital outpost aboard the next-generation spacecraft.


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Local Glob: First Angara-A5 heavy rocket launches from Vostochny spaceport on third attempt
First Angara-A5 heavy rocket launches from Vostochny spaceport on third attempt
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