Flight tests of the light version of the Angara launch vehicle will resume in the first half of 2022, as stated by the Head of the Roscosmos State Space Corporation Dmitry Rogozin at the EAEU ‘Space Integration’ Business Forum.
The Angara is a family of the latest Russian modular launch vehicles of various payload capacities, created on the basis of universal rocket modules with oxygen-kerosene engines. The family includes launch vehicles from light to heavy classes in the payload range from 3.5 to 38 tonnes in low Earth orbit.
Interestingly, Angara is also the name of a river in Eastern Siberia, the right and largest tributary of the Yenisei, the only river flowing from Lake Baikal. It flows through the territory of the Irkutsk Region and the Krasnoyarsk Territory of Russia (1,779 km).
Flight tests of the “Angara” rockets at the Plesetsk cosmodrome began in 2014. On July 9, 2014, there was carried out the first launch of the Angara-1.2.PP light class launch vehicle with an inseparable payload layout weighing 1.43 tonnes and a head fairing. Its starting mass was approximately 171 tonnes.
On December 23, 2014, the first launch of the heavy class “Angara-A5.1L” was made. It consisted of three stages with the space head part that included an inseparable overall-mass model of the payload with a mass of 2.04 tonnes) mounted on the Briz-M upper stage under the head fairing. During the tests, the upper stage successfully brought the mock-up of the spacecraft into the target orbit.
In May 2019, it was reported that in 2019-2021, the Russian Ministry of Defence will conduct three launches of the Angara-A5 launch vehicle and one Angara 1.2. However, later the launch of 2019 was postponed to 2020. The second launch took place on December 14, 2020, from the Plesetsk cosmodrome. In addition, Rogozin previously reported that in 2021 there will be 2-3 test launches of the “Angara” different versions.