Angara-A5 heavy carrier rocket
January 6, 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the decree of the President of Russia" On the development of the Angara space rocket complex (KRK)."
The second "Angara-A5" was launched 14 December 2020 at 08:50 Moscow time from the launch pad number 35 of the State Test Cosmodrome of the RF Ministry of Defense (Plesetsk cosmodrome) in the Arkhangelsk Region. This is the second test launch of the Angara-A5. After 12 minutes, the space warhead, consisting of the upper stage and the non-detachable payload mock-up, routinely separated from the third stage. As specified in the military department, all prelaunch operations and the launch of the Angara-A5 space rocket took place in the normal mode. The launch was carried out by a combat crew of the Space Forces of the Aerospace Forces. In turn, Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of Roscosmos, commented on the second test launch of the Angara-A5 heavy launch vehicle. "She's flying, damn it!".
Initially, the second heavy "Angara" was planned to be launched after the first, having been manufactured in 2015. It is planned to launch the third Angara-A5 missile with the Perseus DM-03 upper stage. This launch will also be with a model of the spacecraft. In total, ten launches were planned as part of flight tests, but in 2020 it became known that their number was reduced to six.
Angara is a family of Russian launch vehicles ranging from light to heavy. The new family uses environmentally friendly fuel components. Until today's launch, only two launches were carried out, both from the Plesetsk cosmodrome: the light "Angara-1.2PP" was launched in July 2014, the first launch of the heavy "Angara" took place on December 23, 2014, then a payload model weighing 2 tons was launched into orbit.
By 2014 Russia was planning to start construction of a launch pad for a new heavy-class carrier rocket at a future space center in the Far East next year to set the stage for its maiden manned launch in 2018. Russia is building a launch complex for the Angara rocket family at the country’s new Vostochny space center to reduce dependence on Kazakhstan for space launches. Moscow leases the Baikonur space center for $115 million per year. Angara launch facilities at Vostochny will be built in two stages: the first launch pad will ensure the launch of a light-class Angara rocket in 2015, while the second will host heavy-class Angara rockets, which would carry out unmanned resupply as well as piloted missions.
Universal missile modules URM-1 and URM-2 serve as the basis for the development of carrier rockets of the Angara family. The Angara launch vehicle classes are composed of a different number of URM-1 universal rocket modules for the lower stages. One URM-1 is used as part of the Angara-1.2 light-class launch vehicles. The maximum number of URM-1 can be a three-stage heavy missile "Angara-A5".
Angara launch vehicles do not use aggressive and toxic propellants, which makes it possible to significantly increase the environmental safety indicators both in the areas adjacent to the launch complex and in the area where the spent stages of launch vehicles fall. The government customers of the Angara space rocket complex are the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the State Corporation Roscosmos, the lead developer and manufacturer is the State Space Research and Production Center named after M.V. Khrunichev.
The successful launch on 23 December 2014 of Russia's newest heavy rocket, the Angara A5, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, was a significant milestone in the history of Russia's rocket industry, providing the state with independent access to space. The new rockets will replace the Zenit, Dnepr and Cyclone boosters manufactured in Ukraine. President Putin, who was monitoring the launch from Moscow, congratulated Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his counterparts on the success of the operation. According to the plan, the rocket should deliver a dummy two-ton payload to geostationary orbit, 36,000 kilometers above the Equator.
The creation of the Angara space rocket complex (SCS) is a task of special state importance. The commissioning of the Angara spacecraft into operation will allow Russia to launch spacecraft of all types from its territory and will provide our country with guaranteed independent access to space. The state customers of the Angara complex are the ROSCOSMOS State Corporation and the Russian Ministry of Defense, and the main developer is FSUE Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. The new KKK is created by the cooperation of Russian industrial enterprises and construction organizations using exclusively domestic element base.
Unique technical solutions and widespread use of unification make it possible to launch all carrier rockets of the Angara family from one launcher. The ground infrastructure of the Angara spacecraft, created at the Plesetsk cosmodrome (Arkhangelsk region), includes a technical complex and a universal launch complex (USK).
The USK at the Plesetsk cosmodrome was created on the basis of the Zenit launch complex and is capable of providing preparation and launching of the Angara carrier rockets of light, medium and heavy classes. The launch complex includes launch facilities, technological equipment, a complex of automated control systems, a complex for refueling the upper stage "Breeze-M", sets of ground equipment and testing equipment. In addition to structures, engineering networks and communications with a length of more than 22 km, roads and railways, the USC includes engineering support sites. The second launch complex is planned to be created at the new Russian VOSTOCHNY cosmodrome.
Alexander Zheleznyakov, an expert in the rocket and space industry, commented on the December 2020 launch, noting a six-year break in testing. "The carrier has been developed for a very long time. Of course, it is not very encouraging that so much time has passed between the two test launches - six years. Nevertheless, this is the carrier that most of our space programs are guided by and which must learn to fly and must launch satellites ", - He cautiously assessed the chances that in 2023 Angara will launch a new spacecraft, Oryol, into space, and explained why. “Regarding the prospects, I will still speak carefully - the rocket must be adapted specifically for the manned program. I still hope that 2023, which is now on the launch schedule, will be fulfilled. But I am wary of these dates. this will move to 2024. But work is underway, huge money has been invested - we need to work, continue to teach the rocket to fly".
In June 2020, according to media reports, the Russian Defense Ministry ordered four Angara-A5 rocketss from Roscosmos. At the same time it became known that the cost of a rocket of this type is three times higher than the cost of a Proton-M rocket. In August, the funding for the development of rockets "Angara" was increased almost twice.
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