MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. Complex testing of the universal launch facility for the heavy lift carrier rocket Angara-A5 has been completed and the rocket has been removed from the launch site of the Plesetsk spaceport, spokesman for the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces Colonel Alexey Zolotukhin told TASS on Wednesday.
“The rocket has now been removed from the launch pad of the universal launch facility and taken to the operations and checkout building of the technical complex of the cosmodrome where experts started technological operations to prepare Angara-A5 for flight tests,” Zolotukhin said.
According to him, specialists have conducted a cycle of electric tests of the carrier rocket’s systems and units, launching equipment and also tested the Angara fuelling system and checked the launch facility’s readiness for the first launch of the Angara-A5 rocket.
The Angara is the first new family of space rockets developed by Russia since the USSR period and is an essential part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to revive the national space industry. A lighter version of the rocket was launched successfully in July.
With the addition of the hydrogen-fuelled third stage still under development in Russia the Angara-5 can place 7.5 tons in geostationary transfer orbit, exceeding the lift capacity of the workhorse Proton/Breeze M.
The Angara family includes the light rocket Angara-1.2 (liftoff mass 171 tons, payload 3.8 tons), medium Angara-A3 (481 tons, 1-14.6 tons) and heavy Angara-A5 (773 tons 3-24.5 tons), Angara-A7 (1,113 tons, 7.6-35 tons). These rockets will be used to launch a wide variety of payloads — satellites, manned spacecraft and interplanetary space probes.