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Second launch of heavy Angara rocket postponed until 2018 — manufacturer

April 05, 5:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The launch was previously scheduled to take place this year

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© Valery Gasheyev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. The second launch of the heavy Angara-A5 rocket was postponed until 2018, Andrei Kalinovsky, who heads the rocket’s manufacturer, told the Kommersant business daily.

"We have put it off until 2018," the Khrunichev Center chief said in an interview, published in Wednesday’s edition of Kommersant.

The launch was previously scheduled to take place this year.

"The reason is quite trite: the research and development efforts coincided with the transfer of production to (the Siberian city of) Omsk, and, by mutual consent with the Defense Ministry, we decided to hold additional tests. They are needed to confirm that the Omsk plant is ready from the point of view of production quality, sequence of production operations and qualification of personnel," Kalinovsky was quoted as saying.

The light version of Russia’s new environmentally friendly rocket is expected to be launched in 2019, and its components are currently being tested.

"We have signed one solid contract with the Korean aerospace institute for a launch in 2020. One launch so far, but the overall interest to this rocket on the commercial market is quite high," the official said.

The new-generation Angara carrier rocket is based on versatile rocket modules with environmentally friendly oxygen/kerosene engines. The Angara family comprises carrier rockets from the light to heavy classes, intended to replace the Proton and Rokot launch vehicles. The light version of the Angara carrier rocket was launched in July 2014 for the first time, while the heavy version of the carrier rocket blasted off in December 2014.

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