Russia launched the third launch of its new Angara heavy missile this month, the first developed after the fall of the Soviet Union 30 years ago.
The Roscosmos space agency announced late Monday that the next-generation Angara A5 rocket with a simulated payload was being launched from Plesetsk in northern Russia.
It was the third launch of the new rocket after its maiden voyage in 2014.
Roskosmos congratulates the Military Space Forces and the entire Russian space industry on the successful test launch of the Angara-A5 launch vehicle with a new generation upper stage!
🚀 This flight showed that the Angara missile tests are progressing exactly as planned. pic.twitter.com/8xkEcUaNoU
– ROSCOSMOS (@roscosmos) December 27, 2021
“Roscosmos congratulates the military space forces and the entire Russian space industry,” said the agency in a statement and called the launch “successful”.
Agency chief Dmitry Rogozin greeted the news on Telegram and wrote: “Come on, baby!”
The Ministry of Defense added: “All pre-launch and launch operations for the Angara-A5 missile went smoothly.”
The last launch of the Angara heavy missile took place in December 2020.
Angara missiles – named after a Siberian river that flows out of Lake Baikal – are the first new launch vehicles built after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
They are meant to replace the Proton missiles, which date back to the 1960s and have suffered a number of failures in recent years.
President Vladimir Putin hopes that the new launch vehicles will revitalize Russia’s space industry and reduce dependence on other former Soviet countries.
Officials say the heavy-class Angara missile is more environmentally friendly than its predecessor because it is powered by oxygen and kerosene rather than the hugely toxic heptyl.
The Russian space program sent the first human into space in 1961 and launched the first satellite four years earlier.
But since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it has been plagued by corruption scandals and a host of other setbacks, with expensive spacecraft and satellites lost in recent years.
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