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Repeated malfunction unlikely in Angara rocket's next launch

The repetition of a malfunction which delayed the maiden flight of light space rocket Angara is ruled out in a next launch of this satellite carrier, the first deputy general director of Moscow-based Khrunichev space research centre told ITAR-TASS.

For the first time Angara was to be launched into geostationary orbit from space centre Plesetsk in Russia's northern Arkhangelsk region on June 27, but the automated system aborted the launch then. The blast-off was delayed for a day and then the rocket was taken off the launching pad for more pre-launch tests. The launch was cancelled due to a malfunction in the propellant-feed system.

"The repetition of this incident is ruled out," Nesterov told ITAR-TASS.

The maiden flight of light space rocket carrier Angara was held without major hitches. The inaugural flight was made on ballistic trajectory on July 9, when a mass simulator with the second stage of the two-stage rocket had reached the target area at Kura test range on the Kamchatka peninsula.

The launch of a heavy space rocket Angara-A5 is planned in December. The launch vehicle will bring a mass simulator on geostationary orbit, the Khrunichev centre's deputy chief said.

In general, light and heavy rockets Angara will go on flight trials until 2020. "Already starting from a second launch of both models of rockets we will be working with a concrete payload - a spacecraft," Nesterov said.

In the future Angara can also orbit astronauts. "With some development and without quite serious investments Angara can launch piloted spaceships," Nesterov said.

Angara is a first civil rocket created in Russia after the demise of legendary Soviet space rocket designer Sergei Korolev in 1966. For 20 years more than 100 billion roubles (around $2.8 billion) were invested in Angara project.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 05Aug14]

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