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MOSCOW, July 14 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s new heavy-lift launch vehicle Angara will fly to a geostationary orbit, not along the free-flight trajectory as its light version did, Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) First Deputy Head Alexander Ivanov said on Monday, July 14.
“The main purpose of the trial flight of the heavy version of Angara is to test the whole route all the way up to the geostationary orbit,” he said.
The heavy version of the rocket is to be launched from Russia’s northern Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Arkhangelsk Region, at the end of this year.
The rocket will be sent to Plestesk from the Khrunichev Centre, which made it, this night. In the future, the rocket will be launched from the Vostochny spaceport in the Far Eastern Amur Region.
A super-heavy lift launch vehicle will be able to carry a payload of 80 tonnes to low-earth orbits. In the future, its capacity can be increased to 160 tonnes and more.
Angara will allow Russia to launch all kinds of spacecraft to any orbit. Now Russia can launch heavy satellites only aboard Proton rockets from Baikonur, which it leases from Kazakhstan for about 115 million U.S. dollars a year.
According to Khrunichev, a big advantage of the new rocket carrier is that “it is a universal space rocket system” capable of taking three types of rockets into space: light with a payload of up to 3.5 tonnes, medium with a payload of up to 14.6 tonnes, and heavy with a payload of up to 24.5 tonnes.
Medium lift and heavy lift launch vehicles can take payloads to the geostationary orbit as well.
The lightweight Angara-1.2PP rocket successfully blasted off from the northern Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk Region on July 9. Twenty-one minutes after the liftoff the test weight reached the designated area at the Kura range in Kamchatka, 5,700 km from the launch site.