Khrunichev State Research and
Production Space Center
The Angara rocket family is a family of space-launch vehicles currently under development by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. The rockets, which are to provide lifting capabilities between 2,000 and 40,500 kg into low earth orbit, are intended to become the mainstay of the Russian unmanned launcher fleet in the future and replace several existing systems.
Khrunichev has also been developing a super-heavy-lift version (Angara 7), which is capable of orbiting payload of between 45 and 75 tons, and for which there is no equivalent in Russia's current rocket fleet. However, currently the development of Angara 7 is not receiving government funding. In addition, Khrunichev has offered to build a version capable of launching manned spacecraft: Angara 5P.
The Angara rockets have a modular design similar to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, based on a common Universal Rocket Module (URM). Depending on configuration, the first stage can consist of 1, 3, 5 or 7 such modules.
The URM is a unitary structure that includes an oxidizer tank, a fuel tank (both tanks being coupled by a spacer) and a propulsion bay. Each URM will have one single-chamber RD-191 engine, using liquid oxygen and kerosene as fuel.
The second stage will be either a Breeze-KM (Angara 1.1), Block-I (Angara 1.2) or Block IE (also called URM-2), which is powered by a RD-0124A engine developed by the KB Khimavtomatika. Angara 5 will use either the Breeze-M upper stage (currently used for the Proton-M), or a new KVTK with a RD-0146D engine . Most versions are intended for unmanned launches, but Angara A5P is being designed to be capable of launching manned spacecraft.
The rockets will be launched from the Plesetsk launch site, and the currently under construction Vostochny launch site. Russia hopes to reduce its dependency on Kazakhstan for the use of the Tyuratam launch site, the location from which many of the current generation of Russian rockets are launched. Under the Baiterek program with Kazakhstan, commercial launches of Angara A5 may also take place from Tyuratam cosmodrome. In 2009, it was reported that a shortage of funds for construction of the Plesetsk launch pad was the main obstacle in Angara's development.
The serial production of the Universal Rocket Modules and the Breeze-M upper stages will take place at the Khrunichev subsidiary Production Corporation Polyot in Omsk. Design and testing of the RD-191 engine is done by NPO Energomash, while its mass production will take place at the company Proton-PM in Perm.
The Angara 1.1 version is expected to be completed first. Its first launch is scheduled to take place in 2013 from the Plesetsk cosmodrome.
Together with NPO Molniya, Khrunichev is also developing the reusable Baikal launch vehicle, based on Angara's URM. The vehicle consists of one URM fitted with a wing, an empennage, a landing gear, a return flight engine and attitude control thrusters, to enable the rocket to return to an airfield after completing its mission.
Since the announcement of the development of an Angara-rocket family there have been some changes in the concept.
2013, May 24 -- Russia's first light-class
modification Angara 1.2PP carrier rocket is ready for its maiden launch,
its manufacturer Khrunichev Center said. The first Angara will be sent to the Plesetsk
space centre in northern Russia later this month, the manufacturer said in a statement,
but did not give a precise launch date. Meanwhile, the first heavy-class Angara-A5
has been completed and will soon be presented to the public, a Khrunichev spokesman
said. The project is being personally overseen by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu
and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of the defense industry.
Deputy Defence Minister Yury Borisov said earlier in May that the light-class Angara
would be launched in mid-2014 and its heavy variant towards the end of this year.
The light-class Angara was initially due to be launched in 2013. Deputy Defence
Minister Oleg Ostapenko said in April that the new rocket would only be launched
after the construction of a new launch facility at the Plesetsk space centre is
2014, July 09 -- Russia launched its first new Angara rocket. A Roscosmos spokesman has told that the launch has taken place and that the rocket is functioning normally.
The Angara rocket lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome near Arkhangelsk and will fly for 21 minutes on a sub-orbital ballistic trajectory before landing at the Kura test-range in the far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula.
2014, October 03 -- Russia plans to test launch its new heavy-lift Angara space rocket on Dec. 23, a news report said.
2014, December 23 -- The Angara 5.1 is launched successfully.
2015, March -- Facing significant budgetary pressures, the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, has indefinitely postponed its ambitious effort to develop a super-heavy rocket. Instead, Russia will focus on radical upgrades of its brand-new but smaller Angara-5 rocket.
While postponing the super-heavy rocket, Roscosmos simultaneously gave a green light to the preliminary development of an upgraded rocket designated Angara-A5V , where "V" likely stands for "vodorod" (hydrogen).