The launch of the Angara-A5 heavy launch vehicle from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, scheduled for December 24, was postponed due to a malfunction. This was reported by “RIA Novosti” citing a source.
According to the agency, the launch on Friday was canceled by the automation of the launch complex, now the state commission is studying the reasons for the cancellation and is considering the possibility of launching the rocket on Saturday, December 25. The automatic command to retract the launch was given one and a half minutes before the start, a source at the Ministry of Defense told TASS. According to him, everything is in order with the rocket itself.
Angara is one of the main long-term construction projects of the Russian space industry in the post-Soviet period. The decision to develop missiles of this family was made back in the 1990s, but the real financing of the project began in 2006. It includes light launch vehicles “Angara-1.2”, heavy – “Angara-A5” and the modernized “Angara-A5M”, as well as increased carrying capacity – “Angara-A5V”. Angara rockets are considered environmentally friendly, as they use kerosene and liquid oxygen instead of toxic heptyl-based fuel.
Last year, the Ministry of Defense ordered from GKNPTs them. Khrunichev (part of Roscosmos), four Angara-A5 launch vehicles. The contract was estimated at over 18 billion rubles. According to the calculations of the department, one such aircraft is capable of putting up to 23 tons of payload into low orbit. The first test launch of the rocket took place on December 23, 2014, the second on December 14, 2020.
In October, the Ministry of Defense announced that it plans to conduct 17 rocket launches from the Plesetsk cosmodrome by the end of 2027, including one by the end of this year and two in the next.
On December 9, the administration of the Kargasoksky district of the Tomsk region, which is located in the area of the fall of the separating parts of the rocket, announced that the launch of the Angara-A5 was scheduled for December 23. Subsequently, it was postponed to the reserve date – December 24. According to TASS sources, this was due to problems with ground equipment, as well as due to weather conditions.