PARIS – Russia debuted its new Angara-1.2 light launcher from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia on July 9, after a technical glitch delayed a planned June 25 mission.
"The first launch of the light Angara rocket was originally planned June 25, but due to additional checks was postponed to June 27," Russian engine maker NPO Energomash said in a July 9 statement, adding that a subsequent attempt on June 28 was also aborted due to technical issues discovered during prelaunch checks.
"The problem has been corrected in a timely manner at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome without sending the rocket back to the factory," Energomash said.
Managed by the Russian defense ministry and Russian space agency, the two-stage rocket lifted off at 12:00 carrying a mass simulator weighing 1,430 kg (3,150 lb.), dropping its first stage and payload fairing as expected in the southern Barents Sea, according to Angara prime contractor Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center.
Khrunichev said the suborbital demonstration mission ended as planned when the Angara second stage landed roughly 21 min. after launch in an area of the Kura test site on the Kamchatka Peninsula, at a distance of 5,700 km from Plesetsk.
The liquid oxygen/kerosene-fueled Angara-1.2 is the first in a family of launch vehicles designed to lift payloads between 1,700-28,000 kg to orbit, ensuring Russia’s independent access to space from its own territory, both from Plesetsk and the new Vostochny Cosmodrome under construction in the country’s far east.