MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Angara-A5 heavy carrier rocket will be launched for the first time with the DM acceleration unit from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in north Russia in late 2016, a source in the rocket and space industry said on Wednesday.
"The first launch of the Angara rocket with the DM-series block is scheduled for December 2016," the source said.
The launch was previously scheduled for the first half of next year but was eventually postponed until the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth quarter and now a new preliminary date was set, the source said.
The Angara carrier rocket will be launched with the new acceleration unit at the request of the Russian army, he said.
The Angara-A5 carrier rocket was first launched in late 2014. It was reported that the rocket’s second launch was intended to bring a military satellite into geostationary orbit.
The new Russian Angara A5 heavy-load rocket was successfully test-launched on December 23, 2014. Infographics by TASS
Andrey Kalinovsky, head of the Khrunichev research and production space center producing Angara rockets, earlier said he didn’t rule out that the rocket could deliver commercial payloads into outer space.
The source in the Russian rocket and space industry told TASS news agency the Angara rocket was launched for the first time with a test weight and the Briz acceleration unit.
The DM-series acceleration unit for the Angara-A5 is being developed by Russia’s Energiya rocket and space corporation, according to a quarterly report posted on its website.
Energiya Head Vladimir Solntsev earlier told TASS the DM acceleration unit modifications were planned for use in Russia’s lunar program, for which a new version of the Angara heavy carrier rocket with the oxygen and hydrogen third stage was being developed.