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MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. A state commission at the Plesetsk space center has decided to launch the Angara-A5 new Russian heavy carrier rocket early on December 23, a space industry source told TASS on Monday.
Preparations for the launch are proceeding according to schedule. The launch is planned for Tuesday morning, 08:57am Moscow time, he said. The rocket was mounted on the launch pad at the Plesetsk cosmodrome on Sunday, December 21, for the first test launch.
Russia places serious hopes on the Angara. After tests, Russia plans to launch space vehicles of all types from its territory and ensure independent guaranteed access to space. It is one of priority projects of the Russian space industry.
Various Angara rockets are developed — one light-class, three medium-class and five heavy-class space vehicles. The light-class model was tested last summer. The rocket successfully reached the designated area within the Kura range on Kamchatka, 5,700 km from the launch site.
Angara-A5 is capable to carry 3-24.5 tons and can replace the Proton carrier. The heavy Angara is not designed for manned flights.