MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. The next launch of the Angara-A5 heavy lift carrier rocket will be carried out in the first half of 2016, a rocket and space industry source told TASS on Tuesday.
"The next Angara flight is scheduled for the first half of 2016," he said.
The rocket’s general designer Vladimir Nesterov said previously that the second heavy Angara rocket would be delivered to Russia’s military on late 2015.
The first test launch of the light version of the Angara rocket was carried out on July 9, 2014, and its heavy version with the Briz-M upper stage was launched on December 23.
Angara is a new-generation carrier rocket based on a universal module with oxygen-kerosene engines. The family includes carriers from the light to heavy class with the payload capacity from 1.5 to 25 tonnes.
Angara is a modular series of rockets designed to launch different classes of payloads to various orbits. The heavy-lift version will enable Russia to launch geostationary-orbiting satellites from its own territory. Currently such satellites are launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard the Proton rocket, which uses a highly toxic hydrazine fuel.
The rocket has universal modules - one for light-class carriers, three - for medium-class carriers and five - for heavy carriers. The series production of the universal rocket module (URM-1 - first stage of a light carrier rocket and first and second stage of a heavy rocket) will be carried out in the Omsk-based Polyot Production Association - a branch of the Khrunichev Stare Research and Production Space Centre. The universal rocket module URM-2 (the second stage of a light carrier rocket and third stage of a heavy rocket) will be manufactured at the Moscow-based rocket and space plant.
The brand new Angara rocket is the first space booster designed from scratch in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The development of the rocket family began at the Moscow-based Khrunichev Centre back in 1994. Two decades of design work and scientific research have cost the government approximately $3 billion.