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Angara A1.2, A3, A5, A7 Design Series

The Angara family of rockets, in development since 1995, is planned to be built in light, semi-heavy and heavy versions to lift a variety of payloads between two and 40 metric tons into low earth orbit. Angara is designed to complement the country’s venerable Soyuz rocket, currently the only vehicle in the world capable of launching astronauts to the International Space Station.

The Angara rocket, developed by the Khrunichev Space Research and Production center, is designed to put heavy payloads into orbit. It is intended mainly for launch from the Plesetsk center to reduce Moscow's dependence on Kazakhstan's Baikonur, the main launch facility for the current generation of Russian rockets. The new line of rockets will be available in a range of configurations capable of lifting between (A1.2) 1.7 to (A3) 3.7 and (A7) 26 -28.5 metric tons into low-earth orbit depending on which launch site is utilized.

By the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 6 January 1995 "On the development of the Angara CWC", the work on the creation of the Angara missile complex is defined as works of special national importance. In March, an order was issued by the Russian Defense Ministry on this complex. August 26, 1995 issued a decree of the Government of the Russian Federation, which determined the stage of the creation of the Angara complex, approved the master plan for the creation of the complex, the volume of its financing, and cooperation of co-executors. The decree set the deadline for the beginning of the flight tests of the complex - 2005 and place - USC (site 35) of the Plesetsk cosmodrome (unfinished launch complex of the Zenit launch vehicle), and in the future it is envisaged to use the Angara launch vehicle and the Svobodny launch site ". The co-executors for separate parts and systems were established:

  • RSC Energia (Korolev) - throughout the construction of the 2nd stage;
  • NPO Energomash (Khimki) - on the engines of the 1st stage;
  • KB Khimavtomatika (Voronezh) - on the engines of the 2-nd stage;
  • SEC of KB Makeev - on fuel tanks;
  • KB Transport Engineering (TsENKI NIISK, Moscow) - on the ground launch complex;
  • SRI KhIMMASH (now FKP "SIC RKP") - on ground mining of the KRK.

The project, designed to develop, envisaged the creation of a two-stage carrier rocket for the package configuration of tanks with sequential operation of stages using liquid oxygen as an oxidizer, and as fuel in the first stage of kerosene, and on the second stage of liquid hydrogen. Fuel tanks were located along the sides of the oxidants located in the center of the tanks. Such a scheme was unofficially called "Cheburashka", as the large fuel tanks visually located on the sides resembled the ears of the cartoon character. The engine of the first stage was adopted RD-171, created for LV Zenit. The engine of the 2nd stage is RD-0120, used earlier on the central block of the LV Energia. The starting mass of the launch vehicle is 640 tons, the payload mass output to the low earth orbit with an inclination of 63 ° (from the Plesetsk launch site) is 24.5 tons.

In March 1997 the leadership of the State Scientific and Technical Center. MV Khrunichev proposed to radically revise the version of the Angara LV, adopted in 1995. Gradually, the current rocket-carrier scheme was based on universal rocket modules and using kerosene as fuel at all stages of the launch vehicle. Without a new competition and the Scientific and Technical Council, by the decision of the head of Rosaviakosmos Yu.N. Koptev and with the consent of the Russian Defense Ministry, a new scheme was adopted for development, and RSC Energia and GRC them. Makeeva was excluded from the co-executors. There was also a manned version of the Angara-5 being considered as of 2009. In December 2009 it was decided due to ministry of defense funding short fall for launch infrastructure construction that the first flight test of the Angara would not occur until 2012 but before 2013 from its intended 2011 planned launch. Test launches will begin with the A-1 and A-1.2 varients similar but not identical to the to the South Korean/Russian Federation KSLV-1 booster development.

A competition to develop a successor to the Proton launch vehicle was underway during most of 1993-1994. The primary contenders were the proposed Energiya-M launch vehicle, already under development for several years, and a new design named Angara. With the cancellation of the Buran space shuttle program and the deferment of government sponsored super-heavy LEO and GEO spacecraft, the original 100-metric-ton-class Energiya launch vehicle program was halted, and efforts to develop the Energlya-M launch vehicle were redoubled.

Energiya-M would employ two standard Energiya strap-on boosters with one 11D520 (RD-170) engine each and a shorter central stage with only one 11 D122 (RD-0120) engine. Upper stages and payloads would be stacked above the central stage within a large shroud. The Energiya-M could orbit LEO payloads of up to 35 metric tons or, using one of three upper stages, could provide GEO capabilities of 3.0, 4.5, or 7.0 metric tons, respectively (References 287-294).

RKK Energiya's Energiya-M ultimately lost to Khrunichev's Angara launch vehicle. The odd-looking Angara, which could begin operations between 2000 and 2005, will have a LEO payload capacity of 26 metric tons, slightly more than the forthcoming Proton-KM. More importantly, Angara will consist of a liquid oxygen/kerosene first stage and a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen second stage, thereby avoiding the environmental concerns of Proton's hypergolic propellants. Angara's unusual configuration will also allow it to use the Zenit launch facilities now under construction at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. No plans have been made to fly Angara from Baikonur, but eventually the launch vehicle could take advantage of the lower latitude (compared to Plesetsk) complexes at Svobodnyy. With an additional liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen upper stage, Angara could place 4.5-metric-ton payloads into GEO, even from Plesetsk. Later, Angara's first stage may be made reusable (References 295-300).

In mid-1999 The American aerospace corporation Lockheed Martin entered into an agreement with the Russian Khrunichev Space Research-And-Production Center, providing investments of $68 million for the development by Russia of the new family of Angara rockets for commercial launches. The "Angara" family of rockets will include light, medium and heavy models.

By the end of 1999 the "Angara" carrier-rocket had evolved into three types of rockets in the "Angara" family. The first one is a light rocket with a payload capacity of up to 1.7 tons, a rocket meant for putting into orbit small telecommunications satellites. The second rocket is capable of taking off with twice payload that is 4 tons. And the third rocket with a payload of 20 tons is expected to replace the "Proton" carrier that's normally launched from the Baikonour cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The most high-power "Angara" missile will have higher carrying capacity than the "Proton" -- it will be able to deliver to a geo-stationary orbit a payload of 6 tons, and to lower orbits - payloads up to 30 tons. This marked the first time a Western company had agreed to pay for the right to promote in the international market Russian space launchers, which currently exist only in the designers' drawings. The first "Angara" light booster launching was scheduled for the end of 2001, and as many as 20 more are scheduled by 2005. That schedule due to the lack of funding in previous years and again in 2009 has greatly delayed it's flight introduction and it is thus not expected to fly until late 2011-2012 and even that is in doubt as of November 2009. The launch facility due to booster design changes has forced revisions in design of the support facilities of those critical infrastructure elements on the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.


  • 287. Technical materials distributed by Energiya NPO, Moscow, 1991.
  • 288. "Soviets Developing Smaller Version of Energiya Heavy-Lift Booster", Aviation Week and Space Technology, 24 December 1990, p. 79.
  • 289. "Energiya-M Launcher, Designed to Carry Smaller Payloads Than Standard Version", Aviation Week and Space Technology, 10 June 1991, p. 48.
  • 290. Yu. Semenov, presentation to the 42nd Congress of the International Astronautical Federation, October 1991.
  • 291. A.N. Shorin and V.V. Liberman, "Energiya-M: One of the Family of Modern Launchers", Proceedings of the European Forum on Space Transportation Systems, ESA SP-362, March 1994, pp. 71-76.
  • 292. V. Filin, "The Energiya-M Booster Rocket: Prospects of Using It For Dumping of Radioactive Waste in Outer Space", Aviation and Space News, No. 1, pp. 31-34.
  • 293. Energiya-M, technical brochure distributed by Energiya Scientific Production Association, undated.
  • 294. "Russia Abandons Plans for Energiya-M Launcher", Space News, 29 November - 5 December 1993, p.2
  • 295. Angara Launch Vehicle, technical brochure distributed by Khrunichev State Space Research and Production Center, 1995.
  • 296. ITAR-TASS News Agency, Moscow, 16 March 1994.
  • 297. Moskovskava Pravda, 31 March 1994, p. 5.
  • 298. Interfax News Agency, Moscow, 18 August, 29 August, and 13 October 1994.
  • 299. Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 20 August 1994, p. 2.
  • 300. A. Malyutin, Kommersant Daily, 2 September 1994, p. 9.
  • Adapted from: Europe and Asia in Space 1993-1994, Nicholas Johnson and David Rodvold [Kaman Sciences / Air Force Phillips Laboratory]

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Page last modified: 09-07-2018 13:25:02 ZULU