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Russia Launches Angara-A5 Rocket on Second Flight Test

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 14, 2020
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Angara-A5 rocket launched on a flight test from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Dec. 14, 2020. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Today, December 14, 2020, at 05:50 UTC, the Angara-A5 heavy-class carrier rocket was successfully launched from Russia’s Ministry of Defence State Test Space Center (Plesetsk cosmodrome) as part of flight design tests of the Angara rocket space complex. The launch vehicle was acquired by ground means of the VKS Titov Main Test Space Center.

Prelaunch preparation and launch of the carrier rocket were conducted by combat crews of the Space Forces of the Aerospace Forces and enterprises of Roscosmos. At the estimated time, 12 minutes 28 seconds after the liftoff, the Angara-A5.2L space rocket orbital block including the Briz-M upper stage and a spacecraft weight mockup separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle. Further injection of the orbital block into the target orbit is carried out with the help of the Briz-M propulsion system.

Universal rocket modules URM-1 and URM-2 serve as the basis for the Angara family carrier rocket development. Various class Angara launch vehicles are built using several universal rocket modules. One URM-1 is used as part of the Angara-1.2 light-class launch vehicles. The maximum number of URM-1 can be a three-stage heavy-class Angara-A5 launch vehicle.

Angara rockets do not use aggressive and toxic propellants significantly increasing environmental safety both in the areas adjacent to the launch complex and in the drop zones. Russia’s Ministry of Defense and Roscosmos are the government customers of the Angara space rocket complex, with Khrunichev Center being the lead developer and manufacturer.

4 responses to “Russia Launches Angara-A5 Rocket on Second Flight Test”

  1. windbourne says:

    about time.
    I hope to see more of these fly soon.

    • duheagle says:

      I suspect your hopes will go unfulfilled for some time. These Angara puppies are expensive, Russia doesn’t launch nearly as much as it used to – especially heavies – and there are still a fair number of Protons on-hand that have to be used up – at least seven.

      Proton is sort of the Delta IV Heavy of Russia – no longer in production, but still around for a fairly long while. Right now, four Proton launches are scheduled for 2021 and the last three in 2022. The last mission manifested is the Exo-Mars lander with the Rosalind Franklin rover. The last Delta IV Heavy is supposed to fly sometime in 2023. Exo-Mars will probably go on time, but one or more other planned Proton launches may slip past it with some other mission becoming Proton’s actual last. It’ll be interesting to see which vehicle has its last launch first.

  2. therealdmt says:


    So they actually can still get something done, huh

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