Russia reports successful launch of new rocket
Russia successfully test-launched its new Angara rocket on Wednesday after a planned maiden flight overseen by President Vladimir Putin had to be aborted last month.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin that the next-generation Angara rocket was launched from Plesetsk at 1200 GMT, Russian news agencies reported, citing a defence ministry spokesman.
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Twenty-one minutes after the launch, the rocket reached its planned target in the Far Eastern region of Kamchatka 5,700 kilometres (3,540 miles) away from the launch pad, the spokesman said.
"Yes to Angara!" deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin exclaimed on Twitter.
The Angara was initially scheduled to blast off from Plesetsk late last month when officials reported a sudden automatic launch abort in an embarrassing glitch broadcast live on national television.
Designed to succeed Soviet-era launchers, Angara is the first rocket to have been completely built after the collapse of the Soviet Union and it is designed to reduce Russia's reliance on other former USSR countries.
Officials say it is more environmentally friendly than its predecessors because it is fuelled by oxygen and kerosene rather than hugely toxic heptyl.
by Amal JAYASINGHE © 2014 AFP
Source : AFP