[Via Satellite 12-23-2014] The Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos reports the Angara A5.1L rocket, a new Russian heavy lift vehicle, has completed its first successful launch at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Northern Russia. The demonstration tested the three-stage rocket’s ability to place a satellite in geostationary orbit.
Russian Aerospace Defence Forces and Russian space industry teams conducted the launch operations. The orbital unit reached its target orbit in nine hours, after which the Breeze M upper stage completed two maneuvers into the graveyard orbit.
“Russia now has [a] modern and environment friendly launch vehicle of a heavy-weight-class,” said Oleg Ostapenko, head of Roscosmos.
The Angara rocket family consists of light, middle and heavy classes. In July Russia test-flew the light-lift Angara-1.2ML with a mock payload. The Angara 7 is planned to have a launch capability of 12.5 tons to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), and 35 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center is designing the rockets, which are propelled by oxygen-kerosene engines.
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