Russia has carried out the third launch of its new heavy Angara missile, the first developed 30 years ago this month after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Space agency Roscosmos announced late Monday that the next-generation Angara-A5 rocket had been launched with a fake payload from Plesetsk in northern Russia.
It was the third launch of the new rocket after its maiden voyage in 2014.
оскосмос поздравляет Военно-космические силы и всю российскую космическую отрасль с успешным испытате пуаекс осмическую отрасль с успешным испыта
🚀 от полет показал, о испытания ракеты «Ангара» азвиваются точно по плану. pic.twitter.com/8xkEcUaNoU
— (@roscosmos) December 27, 2021
“Roscosmos congratulates the military space forces and the entire Russian space industry,” the agency said in a statement, calling the launch “successful”.
Office head Dmitry Rogozin welcomed the news on Telegram, writing: “Come on, baby!”
The Ministry of Defense added: “All prelaunch operations and the launch of the Angara-A5 missile have taken place correctly.”
The last launch of the Angara heavy rocket took place in December 2020.
Angara rockets — named after a Siberian river flowing out of Lake Baikal — are the first new family of launchers to be built after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
They are designed to replace the Proton missiles dating back to the 1960s that have suffered a series of failures in recent years.
President Vladimir Putin hopes the new launchers will revitalize Russia’s aerospace industry and reduce dependence on other former Soviet countries.
Officials say the heavy Angara rocket is more environmentally friendly than its predecessors, as it is powered by oxygen and kerosene rather than massively toxic heptyl.
The Russian space program sent the first man into space in 1961 and launched the first satellite four years earlier.
But since the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, it has been plagued by corruption scandals and a series of other misadventures, with expensive spacecraft and satellites being lost in recent years.