Russia Delayed The Launch Of Its Angara-A5 Rocket At The Last Moment: What We Know So Far

9th Apr 2024
Russia Delayed The Launch Of Its Angara-A5 Rocket At The Last Moment: What We Know So Far

Today, on 9th April, 12:00 Moscow time, Russia planned to launch the first Angara-A5 rocket from Vostochny Cosmodrome near the border with northeastern China in Russia’s Far East. However, it was cancelled approximately two minutes before the launch without explanation.

What Happened During The Angara-A5 Launch?

The launch of the Angara-A5 heavy launch vehicle was called off by an automated abort command, Yury Borisov, the head of Russia’s Roscosmos space corporation. 

“The command to cancel the launch has been issued. The leaders of the works have 24 hours to prepare for parking,” said the announcer during the “Roscosmos” broadcast.

Angara-A5 rocket
Credit: @katlinegrey via X (former Twitter)

Later, Roscosmos announced that the launch of Angara-A5 was cancelled due to a failure of the supercharging system of the oxidizer tank of the central unit.

What Is Angara-A5 Rocket?

Angara-A5 is the first rocket developed and created after the collapse of the USSR. This launch would have been just the fourth time the Angara-A5 rocket was launched since it was first used in 2014. The last launch was in late 2021, but it didn’t go as planned.

Angara-A5 first launch in 2014
Angara-A5 inaugural launch in 2014. Credit: Roscosmos

Before, the rocket launched from Plesetsk, a spaceport in the Arctic Circle often used for military missions. Now, Russia plans to launch it from Vostochny, a newer spaceport that can handle bigger payloads. It was opened in 2016 for commercial launches.

Angara-A5 test flight
Angara-A5 test flight. Credit: Mack Crawford for NSF/L2

What Are Angara-A5 Rocket’s Primary Goals?

One of the main tasks of the rocket is the construction of the Russian orbital station. It also serves military purposes and is just one component of a larger Russian initiative to create a series of new rockets, all bearing the Angara name. 

Pavel Luzin, a visiting scholar at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, suggests that these rockets are already outdated compared to more advanced foreign rocket technologies.

As Borisov said last month during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Angara’s debut at Vostochny “is a very important event for the country, which is strengthening on-the-ground space infrastructure.”

Environmentally Friendly Rocket

Additionally, Angara-A5 is positioned as an environmentally friendly rocket that does not use toxic fuel components. It should replace the Proton-M launch vehicles, which have been in use in the Soviet and Russian cosmonautics since the mid-1960s.

Angara-A5 vs Falcon 9

The Angara-A5 has a payload capacity of up to 24,500 kilograms to low-Earth orbit. This is the area in space where Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched over 5,500 Starlink communication satellites. Interestingly, the Angara-A5 has a similar payload capacity to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. However, unlike the Falcon 9, which is reusable and can fly multiple missions, the Angara-A5 is a single-use rocket.

When Is The Next Launch Attempt For Angara-A5?

The relaunch attempt of Russia’s Angara-A5 rocket is scheduled for Wednesday, 10th April.

Leave a Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Related Articles

Explore Orbital Today