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13 Apr, 2024 15:41

Revolutionary new space rocket a success despite delays – Russian space boss

Yury Borisov acknowledged that the technical issues encountered during the launch frayed many nerves
Revolutionary new space rocket a success despite delays – Russian space boss

The launch of Russia’s new heavy-lift rocket Angara-A5 was a major success despite technical issues that prompted several delays, Yury Borisov, the chief of national space agency Roscosmos, has said. 

The rocket blasted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far East on Thursday after two launches were canceled at the last minute due to a failure of a pressurizing system in an oxidizer tank and in the engine control system. As part of the test launch, a lightweight satellite was sent into low Earth orbit. 

Speaking on Friday at an event dedicated to Cosmonautics Day, Borisov touted the launch as an important achievement but noted that it had not gone completely smoothly. “We probably spoiled the nerves of many in the country by postponing the launch… Only on the [April, 11] we managed to launch this stubborn girl called ‘Angara,’ he noted, thanking all those who made it possible. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also hailed the development, noting that the Angara would help propel into orbit the modules required for building the Russian Orbital Service Station, which is scheduled to begin being constructed in 2027. 

Borisov also said earlier that the Angara would be used to launch a crewed spacecraft in 2028. 

The Angara is the first heavy-lift rocket developed in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has been described as more eco-friendly than the Soviet-era Proton-M system, as it uses kerosene and oxygen as fuel.