Angara Launch Complex at Baikonur Slips Another 2 Year in Just 3 Months

Angara rocket engine test
Russia’s much-delayed Angara rocket suffered another setback this week as officials announced a two-year slip in the construction of its Baiterek launch complex at Baikonur:

The Kazakh and Russian space agencies first agreed in January to put off the Baiterek commissioning date until 2015 due to insufficient funding.

“Over the period from 2004 to 2010, the project costs have increased significantly. The commission date has also been moved further to 2017,” said Meyrbek Moldabekov, deputy chairman of the National Space Agency of Kazakhstan (Kazcosmos).

Moldabekov said the delay was caused by slow progress in flight tests of Russia’s new carrier rocket Angara, the main type of rocket that will be used at Baiterek.

“In addition, the errors in the initial draft design of Baiterek have led to the need to change the location and build a separate technical center,” the official said.

Angara is currently set to make its first test flight in 2013, which is a slip of several years from earlier schedules. Russia is constructing a launch complex at its Plesetsk Cosmodrome for Angara, which runs on more environmentally benign fuel and will replace several existing boosters.