Russia to Launch New Light Class Carrier Rocket in 2013

MOSCOW, December 27 (RIA Novosti) – The first launch of a new Russian light class carrier rocket has been scheduled for the beginning of 2013, Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Alexander Golovko said on Thursday.

The Soyuz-2.1V features a powerful NK-33-1 engine and will be able to deliver a payload of up to 2.8 tons into low Earth orbit.

“We are expecting to receive the rocket from the manufacturers soon and carry out the first launch in the beginning of 2013,” Golovko told reporters.

Russia originally planned to launch the first Soyuz-2.1V in October but it was postponed indefinitely after a failed ground test of its first stage engines in August.

Deputy Defense Minister Col. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko earlier said a state commission will hold a meeting on Friday to set the dates for postponed launches of the Soyuz-2.1V and Rockot carrier rockets.

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