Russia Cancels Angara-A5 Rocket Two Minutes Before Launch, Amur Oblast

Cancelled Launch

At approximately 0500 EST, initial reports indicated that the first launch of the Angara-A5 rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Uglegorsk, Amur Oblast, was cancelled less than two minutes before takeoff. The launch has been postponed for 24 hours as officials race to correct failures of pressurization systems onboard an oxidizer tank on the rocket. This issue was confirmed by Roscosmos head Borisov in a press statement. The new launch is set to take place no sooner than April 10th, 2024.

The Angara Family

The launch today was an Angara-A5 Blok DM-03. The DM-03 is a Russian upper stage used as an optional fourth stage on the Proton-M heavy-lift rocket. Three have been launched, the first in December 2010; the first two launches failed before fourth stage ignition, the first as a result of a problem with the Blok DM’s fuel load. It is not currently clear if the DM-03 was the cause of today’s cancellation.

The Angara rocket family has been a major post-Soviet Union initiative to develop a domestic series of space launch vehicles for the 21st century. The project began after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and produced its first rocket in 2014 in which the Angara 1.2PP launched on July 9th, 2014, more than 22 years after the project start. Since that successful 2014 launch, the Angara-A5 has had 5 launches spanning from 2014 to 2022. Of those 5 launches, 3 were successful in either reaching orbital test flight conditions or delivering their payloads.

Angara mock-ups at the MAKS 2009 airshow near Moscow.

The Angara-A5 uses four Universal Rocket Module (URM) boosters surrounding one core URM. The four URMs are used until depletion to complete boost phase followed by the core URM modulating propellant depletion after boost separation. However, the family has several variants which allow for upper stage such as the DM-03 to be used today. This upper state portion allows for precise trajectory movements while in orbit.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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