Putin Demands Answers as First Angara Launch Scrubbed

Angara-1.2 launch vehicle on pad at Plesetsk. (Credit: Khrunichev)
Angara-1.2 launch vehicle on pad at Plesetsk. (Credit: Khrunichev)

The first launch of the Angara 1.2 rocket was scrubbed at the last minute:

The would-be historic launch was automatically terminated just few minutes before the countdown, the Defense Ministry declared. “Technical issues” are blamed for the incident, said sources in the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

According to the commander of Russia’s aerospace defense troops, Aleksandr Golovko, the launch has been rescheduled for Saturday, 3:15pm Moscow time (11:15 GMT).

“During the launch preparation an automated system has given a red light for carrying out the launch. The launch has been postponed to the reserve date of June 28,” Golovko said.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported the failure launch to Putin and requested one hour to establish the facts in the situation.

“Do not rush the work. Carefully analyze everything and report to me after an hour,” Putin told Shoigu.

Angara is a modular series of launch vehicles designed to replace a number of existing rockets. On its first flight, the Angara 1.2 will crash an upper stage and a dummy payload into an impact site on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Read the full story.