The second launch of Russia's next-generation Angara A5 rocket will likely be pushed back to 2021, the former director of the Khrunichev space center in Moscow told Sputnik
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 08th July, 2020) The second launch of Russia's next-generation Angara A5 rocket will likely be pushed back to 2021, the former director of the Khrunichev space center in Moscow told Sputnik.
Angara A5 is a heavy-lift rocket from the family of eco-friendly Angara boosters that made its maiden space flight using a Briz-M upper stage in 2014. The second liftoff from the northern Plesetsk space port was expected in November.
"There won't be any launches this year. I'm very familiar with the preparation cycle: finishing the rocket assembly, doing the final touches, sending it to the cosmodrome, completing pre-flight work. The launch will take place in the first or second quarter of next year at best," Vladimir Nesterov said.
The rocket will launch a dummy payload to the geosynchronous orbit. Russia is also assembling an Angara launch pad at a newer Vostochny cosmodrome in the far east and plans to move launches there in 2023, with the first flight of a manned spacecraft atop an Angara A5 expected in 2025.
Nesterov, who was the space center's designer general at the time of first Angara tests, estimated that it would cost Russia some 800 million rubles ($11 million) to develop a medium-lift Angara A3 booster.
Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin said last year that Angara A3 was scrapped after it was deemed to be almost identical to the Soyuz 5, which has been in development since 2017.
The Angara family is made of universal rocket modules. The A3 version would have two boosters less than A5. The heavy-lift rocket is made of three stages consisting of a total of six boosters.