Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu informed to President and Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin about the implementation of the first test launch of the heavy class carrier rocket Angara-A5, the website of the Ministry of Defense said. The rocket was launched on December 23 at 08:57 Moscow time from the universal launch complex at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region of Russia. Putin took part in the launching process via a videoconference.
The launch of the Angara-A5 rocket was conducted by the operational crew of Russian Aerospace Defense Forces. The launch and the flight of the carrier rocket took place in a normal mode, the Ministry informs. The Angara-A5 brought a payload mass simulator into interim orbit, Interfax reports.
"Twelve minutes after the launch, the orbital unit, as part of the upper stage, Breeze-M, and the undetachable payload mass simulator, separated from the third stage of Angara-A5. Further, the delivery of the orbital unit to target geostationary orbit will be implemented with the help of Breeze-M upper stage on a typical 9-hour three-pulse scheme with four activations of the main engine of the booster," officials said.
On July 9, a lighter version of the Angara - Angara-1.2PP - was launched from Plesetsk. The flight, which lasted for 21 minutes, went on a ballistic trajectory over the territory of the Russian Federation.
The Angara-A5 is a heavy class rocket. The launch weight of the vehicle makes up 773 tons; the payload mass makes up 24 tons. The Angara-A5 rocket is environmentally friendly: its fuel consists of kerosene and liquid oxygen, rather than heptyl, which is a highly toxic substance.
It took Russian engineers nine years to complete the development of the Angara rocket. Its creation was a task of special importance. The rocket will enable Russia to launch space vehicles of all types from its territory. It will also ensure Russia's independent guaranteed access to space after NASA suspended cooperation with Russia in the field of space exploration.
The Angara project was evaluated at over 160 billion rubles. The rockets are to put between 3,800 and 24,500 kg into low Earth orbit and are intended, along with Soyuz-2 variants, to replace several existing launch vehicles.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Angara rocket would be used in missile early warning chain. It will also be used for reconnaissance, navigation, communication for the needs of defense.