Encyclopedia Astronautica
Angara



angara04.jpg
Angara LV Family
Credit: © Mark Wade
The Angara was a new all-Russian heavy launch vehicle designed to replace the Zenit (which was built by a Ukrainian company) and Proton (which had launch pads only on Kazakh territory). The booster was sized for rail transport of modular manufactured components to cosmodromes at Plesetsk and Svobodniy. The design featured a single modular core that could be clustered for large payloads or used as a first stage with a variety of existing upper stages. All plans for the Angara were dependent on financing and subject to constant change.

The booster would use engines developed for the Zenit. The first Angara design by Khrunichev featured a unique parallel fuel tank configuration in both first and second stages. This concept beat two competing NPO Energia designs: the Energia-M and a 'clean sheet' in-line concept. However the second stage was initially subcontracted to Energia by Khrunichev.

By 1999 the design had evolved to a very different scheme similar to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles being developed for the US Air Force. The new design took into account commercial considerations and concentrated on development of a single modular core that could be clustered for large payloads and used as a first stage with a variety of existing upper stages.

This core was designated the Universal Rocket Module (URM). Production drawings were released in February 1999 and the cold flow test article was flown to the Paris Air Show and exhibited in the summer of 1999. By that time a total of 19 possible variants of the launch vehicle had been studied. The plan at that time was for the construction of three ground-test articles to be followed by three test flights beginning by the end of 2000 and completed by June 2001. First launches would be from the former Zenit pad at Plesetsk.

As of 2008 funding problems continued, and no flight tests had been conducted. Instead South Korea had provided funds to develop a version of the Angara as its KSR booster.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Angara 1.1 Russian orbital launch vehicle. The initial flight version would be the Angara 1.1, featuring a single URM core module with the existing Briz upper stage. Payload would be 2.0 tonnes to a 200 km / 63 deg orbit). Other vehicle variants were numbered according to the number of URM's. More...
  • Angara 4A Russian orbital launch vehicle. The Angara 4A had the same configuration as the Angara 1.2 but with a winged, recoverable URM. The booster would have 158 tonnes lift-off mass, and could place a 2.7 tonne payload into a 200 km / 63 deg orbit). The winged URM would have two jet engines and fly back to the Mirniy airfield at Plesetsk for recovery. One problem was that some abort profiles would require overflight of Norway. First flight of this version was predicted for 2003 in 1998. More...
  • Angara The Angara was a new all-Russian heavy launch vehicle designed to replace the Zenit (which was built by a Ukrainian company) and Proton (which had launch pads only on Kazakh territory). The booster was sized for rail transport of modular manufactured components to cosmodromes at Plesetsk and Svobodniy. The design featured a single modular core that could be clustered for large payloads or used as a first stage with a variety of existing upper stages. All plans for the Angara were dependent on financing and subject to constant change. More...
  • Angara 1.2 Russian orbital launch vehicle. First planned upgrade of Angara, the 1.2 version would use a new Block I lox/kerosene upper stage. Payload would be 3.7 tonnes to a 200 km / 63 deg orbit. More...
  • Angara 5A Russian orbital launch vehicle. The Angara 5A was a proposed variant of the modular launch vehicle that would use four universal rocket modules (URM's) as boosters surrounding one URM in the core, with a Lox/LH2 upper stage. It could put 5.0 tonnes into geosynchronous orbit, or 8.0 tonnes into geosynchronous transfer orbit. More...
  • Angara 3A Russian orbital launch vehicle. The Angara 3A was a proposed variant of the modular launch vehicle that would use two universal rocket modules (URM's) as boosters flanking one URM in the core, with a Lox/Kerosene upper stage. It could put 14 tonnes into low earth orbit More...
  • Angara Orel Russian orbital launch vehicle. The Orel, consisted of the Angara 3I plus an MKK spaceplane, similar to the MAKS. This would have a 431 tonne gross lift-off mass, with the spacecraft weighing 13.5 tonnes including a 4.2 tonne payload. This could be an eventual replacement of the Soyuz spacecraft for ferry of crews to space stations. More...

Angara Chronology


1994 August 30 - . LV Family: Angara. Launch Vehicle: Angara 1.1.
  • Work starts on Angara launch vehicle - . Nation: Russia. Summary: Ministry of Defence authorizes work to start on Angara launch vehicle. Angara will replace Zenit (built in Ukraine) and Proton as future Russian medium launch vehicle, launched from Plesetsk and Svobodny..

1999 June 12 - . LV Family: Angara. Launch Vehicle: Angara 1.1.
  • Angara cold flow test article exhibited at the Paris Air Show - . Nation: Russia.

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