Angara!

Interesting to read of the Angara project’s history, via Russian Space Web

The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 had profound effects on the Russian space program. The nation’s main space launch site in Baikonur ended up in the newly independent Kazakhstan, while several major suppliers of rocket components along with key tracking facilities were now in Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry had the most reasons to worry about losing its capability to launch strategically important military satellites, in case of a conflict between former Soviet republics.

On Aug. 3, 1992, less than a year after the failed coup to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev had instead triggered the final convulsion of the Soviet state, Russia’s Military Space Forces approved a new assessment on the state and prospects of the nation’s launch systems. (355) The document set the course toward the development of a new launch vehicle, whose design and launch facilities would not rely on contractors outside Russia. A month and a half later, on September 15, the Russian government issued an official decree giving the rocket industry the task to conceptualize the best architecture for a heavy space launch vehicle, which would be dubbed Angara after a great Siberian river.

The future rocket was required to carry up to 24 tons to low Earth orbit and up to 3.5 tons to geostationary orbit. The new launch vehicle was expected to replace Proton after 2005. Similar studies aimed to eventually built the Neva light-weight launch vehicle capable of delivering four tons of payload to the low Earth orbit and thus replacing the Ukrainian-built Tsyklon and for the medium-class Yenisey launcher designed to replace Zenit. (264)

The new heavy rocket would be first based at Russia’s northern space port in Plesetsk, however, in 1994, plans were also made to deploy it at a future new launch site in Svobodny with a much better geographical location in the Russian Far East.

The launch complex, or cosmodrome, is less than 100 miles from the Chinese border and the Russian Federation is comprised of many ethnic groups.

What if the R.F. breaks apart even further? Putin will surely go down in history as the biggest Russian asshole ever.


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