RF Angara-1 planning to be launched in first half of 2013 – official.

16/7 Tass 125

BAIKONUR, July 16 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Angara rocket booster is planning to be launched from Plesetsk in the first half of 2013, director general of the Khrunichev State Research and Space Centre Vladimir Nesterov said.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Nesterov said, “We don’t see any reasons that can prevent us from postponing the launch.”

The Angara-1 rocket booster keeps fully operational. “At the end of 2012 we’ll assemble it. We could do this earlier, but we have problems with the launch site,” he noted.

Nesterov said the first launch would precede the work on the launch site with the use of experimental machinery, which is necessary to conduct tests.

Commenting on the Angara-5 rocket booster, the official said, “The rocket’s engines are in a state of preparedness.”

“We’re doing everything possible to keep the term. The Angara-1 will be launched in the first half of 2013. The Angara-5 rocket boost is scheduled for the launch in the second half of 2013,” Nesterov said.

Focusing on the South Korean KSLV-1 rocket booster, he said the third launch with Russia’s first stage booster would be held in August or September 2012.

Nesterov said the South Korean rocket booster where the universal rocket module is used as the first stage (due to be installed in the Angara rocket) would be launched in compliance with the contract.

“The booster may be launched in August or September 2012,” the official said, adding corresponding authorisation documents were indispensable in order to launch the booster.

Commenting on the reasons for the failure of the first and second launches, Nesterov said he could not talk about them because “there is an agreement on confidential information”.

At present, “a joint independent commission is working. It will make public the results in due time”, Nesterov stressed.

Initially the KSLV-II was to have consisted of a Russian Angara first stage and a South Korean liquid-propellant second stage. In August 2006 it was reported in the Korean press that this configuration had been cancelled. At that time, the Korean press reported that the KSLV-III first and second stages would both be Angara-UM modules, with RD-151 engines. The configuration was never entirely clear, but was probably side-by-side rather than stacked.

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