by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novsoti) Apr 15, 2008
Flight tests of a new-generation Russian space launch vehicle will start in 2010, the director of the Khrunichev State Research and Production Center said on Monday. The Angara rocket, currently under development, is designed to put heavy payloads into orbit. It is mainly planned for launch from the Plesetsk space center, in northwest Russia, which will reduce Moscow's dependence on Kazakhstan's Baikonur, the main launch pad for the current generation of Russian rockets.
"Flight tests are due to start in 2010. In early 2011, a lighter version of Angara is to be launched and by the end of the same year a heavy-class, Angara-5 vehicle is to lift off," Vladimir Nesterov said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya gazeta daily.
He added that the Angara will not only be used for military but also civilian purposes, specifically to put into orbit satellites as part of the Federal Space Program, as well as joint international space projects.
The new line of rockets will be available in a range of configurations capable of lifting between two and 24.5 metric tons to low-earth orbit.
Nesterov also said the center could, if necessary, develop a new super-heavy-lift rocket capable of putting into orbit payloads of between 45 and 175 tons.
Source: RIA Novosti
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