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Russia Hopes To Launch New Angara Rocket In 2003

Angara is being developed to become the new workhorse of the Russian launch industry but faces ongoibg delays due to funding problems
Moscow (Interfax) Feb. 13, 2001
Russia's Khrunichev Space Center intends to carry out the first launch of the principally new workhorse rocket the 'Angara' in 2003, Anatoly Kiselyov, the corporation's general director until recently told the press Friday.

In a word of introduction about his successor, Alexander Medvedev, Kiselyov said that all the technical documentation concerning the Angara has been drawn up, production has been prepared and it only remains to start assembling the first new generation rockets, which will be of the light class. Kiselyov explained that in the future the corporation will also be producing Angaras of medium and heavy classes.

Medvedev, who earlier was the first general director's assistant coordinating the Angara development project, said that it took corporation specialists five years to incorporate a module principle into the Angara's design.

What this means is that the strength of every component will depend on the number of engines installed on the first stage. A rocket equipped powered by two engines would be in the light class, one with four engines in the medium class and one with six in the heavy class.

Medvedev said this principle makes Angaras highly reliable, more powerful, technologically simple and low-cost rockets.

Compared with similar rockets used by NASA, the European Space Agency and Japan, the Angara has far fewer components parts and is much easier to assemble.

Even though light Angara rockets could enter production today, its launch complex is far from complete. "Regrettably, the construction of the launch complex, for which the Russian Defense Ministry is responsible, is moving at a very slow pace.

No funds are being provided for the construction. We have repeatedly contacted top government institutions on the issue, but so far to no avail," Kiselyov said.

In a few years, launch installations at Baikonur will exhaust their safety warranties and their restoration will require lots of financing. For this reason, "if we fail to design a launch facility for the Angara in the next year or two and do not begin to launch it or 'teach it to fly', then we will be left behind our competitors on the world market of space services," Kiselyov said.

Related Links
Angara Launch Vehicle at FAS
Angara at Encyclopedia Astronautica
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ILS Taps Proton For Echostar
Moscow (Interfax) Feb. 6, 2001
Russia's Khrunichev Space Center has received an order for launching a communication satellite for U.S. Echostar Communications, the Khrunichev press center told Interfax. The satellite is expected to be launched with a Proton-K rocket from the Baikonur space center at the beginning of next year.

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