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Russia’s Khrunichev Center to hold up to 10 launches of Proton-M carrier rockets in 2019

A test launch of the Angara-A5 vehicle is also expected

MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. The Khrunichev Space Center may hold up to 10 launches of Proton-M carrier rockets and another test-launch of the heavy Angara-A5 rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in 2019, the company said on Tuesday.

"Thanks to the measures of support from Roscosmos [State Space Corporation], the Khrunichev Center is gradually approaching the planned utilization of its production sites - in Moscow and in Omsk," the company said.

"In 2019, we expect greater activity in the launches of heavy-class carrier rockets: we may hold up to 10 launches of Protons and also carry out another test launch of the Angara-A5," Khrunichev Space Center CEO Alexei Varochko was quoted as saying.

In September 2018, the Polyot production association, which is the Khrunichev Space Center’s Omsk branch, which is setting up the serial manufacture of Angara carrier rockets of various lifting capacity, already completed the production and the delivery to Moscow of fitting blocks for the assembly of the second heavy Angara-A5 carrier rocket. Its final assembly and tests will be carried out at the space rocket factory of the Khrunichev Center’s Moscow premises, he said.

"After the completion of the assembly and the factory tests, the Angara-A5 will be delivered from Moscow to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome to prepare it for the launch due to take place in 2019 as part of flight tests of this type of rocket carriers," the Khrunichev Space Center said.

Roscosmos earlier said that the program of Angara-A5 flight tests stipulated three launches from the Plesetsk and Vostochny spaceports each.

The Angara is a family of Russian light to heavy carrier rockets that was developed to replace Proton-M and Rokot launchers. As compared to them, the new family of carrier rockets uses environmentally-friendly propellant components. So far, only two launches have been carried out and both of them have been conducted from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in north Russia: a light Angara-1.2PP rocket blasted off in July 2014 and a heavy Angara-A5 lifted off in December 2014.