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December 22-28, 2014 / Vol 33, No 51 / Hawai`i Island, USA

19 Dec 2014, 21:23 UTC
December 22-28, 2014 / Vol 33, No 51 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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Russia Set for Maiden Flight of Angara Heavy-lift Rocket

Angara-A5, the heavy-lift configuration of this modular rocket system 20 years in the making, is scheduled to lift off from Plesetsk Cosmodrome about 800 km north of Moscow on December 25, for its maiden flight to orbit. This is the first newly developed post-Soviet Russian rocket family. It is built by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center based in Moscow, runs on eco-friendly oxygen-kerosene fuel, and is capable of lifting 24.5t to LEO, or as much as 7.5t to GTO. Russia has been boosting efforts to revitalize its space program by increasing budget allocations over the last few years, a trend that may be challenged by the unfolding economic situation. In addition to outlining plans for a full-scale Moon exploration program in 2016-2025, it is planning or actively developing new launch vehicles like Angara, a new launch site at Vostochny, a new manned spacecraft called PTKNP, new planetary missions, and a new national space station to serve as waypoint for human Moon missions. Oleg Ostapenko, head of Roscosmos, recently cited that Russia has launched 37 satellites in 26 missions this year, almost twice as many as in 2013. The ...

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