Maiden Angara Launch Postponed Indefinitely

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

It looks like it will be week before the Russians can try to launch their Angara 1.2 rocket again after a last-minute scrub on Friday:

A defect in the drainage valve of the liquid oxygen tank detected during pre-launch tests led to cancellation of the first test launch of the light-class Angara carrier rocket 19 seconds prior to the engine refueling, experts told Interfax-AVN after probing an emergency during Angara’s launch on Monday.

“One needs to understand what Angara means. It is new engines, a new control system. In other words, trials are needed in order to fine-tune everything. There is no room for any frenzy. We should not take any risks. It has taken us quite long to build this rocket. It will certainly fly into space, but more tests should be conducted first. Its launch has been cancelled because a malfunction was detected. The malfunction was assessed by its own system,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters in Uglegorsk on Tuesday….

Rogozin said that he doesn’t know when the next launch will take place. “I think it will take us weeks to return the Angara launch vehicle to its launch pad,” he said, Interfax reports.

The Angara is a modular family of launch vehicles designed to replace a number of existing rockets. It has been under development fror nearly 20 years.