Angara (rocket family)

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Angara 1.2 A5.svg
Angara 1.2 and Angara A5
FunctionLaunch vehicle
ManufacturerKhrunichev, KBKhA
Country of originRussia
Cost per launchAngara A5: $90 - 105 M (2016) [1][2]
Height42.7 m (140 ft)-64 m (210 ft)
WidthAngara 1.2 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
Angara A5 8.86 m (29.1 ft)
Mass171,500 kg (378,100 lb)-790,000 kg (1,740,000 lb)
Payload to LEO (Plesetsk)3,800 kg (8,400 lb)-24,500 kg (54,000 lb)
Payload to GTO (Plesetsk)5,400 kg (11,900 lb)-7,500 kg (16,500 lb)
Associated rockets
ComparableNaro-1 used a modified URM-1 first stage
Launch history
Launch sitesPlesetsk Site 35
Total launches2 (A1.2PP: 1, A5: 1)
Successes2 (A1.2PP: 1, A5: 1)
First flightA1.2PP: July 9, 2014
A5: December 23, 2014
Boosters (A5) – URM-1
No. boosters4 (see text)
Engines1 RD-191
Thrust1,920 kN (430,000 lbf) (Sea level)
Total thrust7,680 kN (1,730,000 lbf) (Sea level)
Specific impulse310.7 s (3.047 km/s) (Sea level)
Burn time214 seconds
First stage – URM-1
Engines1 RD-191
Thrust1,920 kN (430,000 lbf) (Sea level)
Specific impulse310.7 s (3.047 km/s) (Sea level)
Burn timeAngara 1.2: 214 seconds
Angara A5: 325 seconds
Second stage – URM-2
Engines1 RD-0124A
Thrust294.3 kN (66,200 lbf)
Specific impulse359 s (3.52 km/s)
Burn timeAngara A5: 424 seconds
Third stage (A5) – Briz-M (optional)
Engines1 S5.98M
Thrust19.6 kN (4,400 lbf)
Specific impulse326 s (3.20 km/s)
Burn time3,000 seconds
Third stage (A5) – KVTK (optional, under development)
Engines1 RD-0146D
Thrust68.6 kN (15,400 lbf)
Specific impulse463 s (4.54 km/s)
Burn time1,350 seconds

The Angara rocket family is a family of space-launch vehicles being developed by the Moscow-based Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. The rockets are to put between 3,800 and 24,500 kg into low Earth orbit and are intended, along with Soyuz-2 variants, to replace several existing launch vehicles.


After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many formerly Soviet launch vehicles were built in or required components from companies now located in Ukraine, such as Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, which produced Zenit-2, and Yuzhmash, which produced Dnepr and Tsyklon.[3] Additionally, the Soviet Union's main spaceport, Baikonur Cosmodrome, was located in Kazakhstan, and Russia encountered difficulties negotiating for its use.[4] This led to the decision in 1992 to develop a new entirely Russian launch vehicle, named Angara, to replace the rockets now built outside of the country, and ensure Russian access to space without Baikonur. It was decided that this vehicle should ideally use the partially completed Zenit-2 launch pad at the Russian Plesetsk spaceport,[5] and be able to launch military satellites into geosynchronous orbit, which Proton could not due to lack of a launch pad at Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Several companies submitted bids for the new rocket, and in 1994 Khrunichev, the developer of Proton, was selected as the winner. The commercial success of Proton over the next two decades would be an advantage to Khrunichev, as the Angara project immediately ran into funding difficulties from the cash-strapped Russian government.[6]

Khrunichev's initial design called for the use of a modified RD-170 for first stage propulsion and a liquid hydrogen powered second stage. By 1997, the hydrogen-powered second stage had been abandoned in favor of kerosene, and the RD-170 was replaced with a modular design which would be powered by the new RD-191, a one-chamber engine derived from the four-chamber RD-170. In late 1997 Khrunichev was given approval from the Russian government to proceed with their new design, which would both be able to replace the ICBM-based Dnepr, Tsyklon, and Rokot with its smaller variants, as well as be able to launch satellites into geostationary orbit from Plesetsk with the Proton-class Angara A5.[7] This new modular rocket would require construction of a new launch pad.

By 2004, the design of Angara had taken shape and the project proceeded with development of the launchers. In 2008, NPO Energomash, the builder of the RD-191, reported that the engine had completed development and burn tests and was ready for manufacturing and delivery,[8] and in January 2009 the first completed Angara first stage was delivered to Khrunichev.[9] The next year Vladimir Nesterov, Director-General of Khrunichev, announced that the first flight test of Angara would be scheduled for 2013,[10] and in 2013 the first prototype Angara rocket arrived in Plesetsk.[11]

In 2014, 22 years after Angara's original conception, the first launch took place on July 9, a suborbital test flight from the northern Plesetsk Cosmodrome.[12][13][14] An Angara A5 was launched into geosynchronous orbit in December 2014.[15]

Vehicle description[edit]

Angara mock-ups at the MAKS 2009 airshow near Moscow

URM-1: first stage and boosters[edit]

The Universal Rocket Module (URM-1) forms the core of every Angara vehicle. In the Angara A5, four additional URM-1s act as boosters. Each URM-1 is powered by a single NPO Energomash RD-191 burning liquid oxygen and RP-1 (kerosene).[16]

The RD-191 is a single-chamber engine derived from the four-chamber RD-170, originally developed for the boosters powering the Energia launch vehicle. Zenit's four-chamber RD-171 and the dual-chamber RD-180 powering ULA's Atlas V are also derivatives of the RD-170, as is the RD-193 proposed as a replacement for the 1970s-era NK-33 powering the first stage of the Soyuz 2-1v. The RD-191 is capable of throttling down to at least 30%, allowing core URM-1 stages to conserve propellant until booster URM-1 separation.[17]

The URM-1 consists of a liquid oxygen tank at the top, followed by an intertank structure containing flight control and telemetry equipment, with the kerosene tank below that. At the base of the module is a propulsion bay containing engine gimballing equipment for vehicle pitch and yaw and thrusters for roll control.[18]

URM-2: second stage[edit]

The second stage of the Angara, designated URM-2, uses one KBKhA RD-0124A engine also burning liquid oxygen and kerosene. The RD-0124A is nearly identical to the RD-0124 currently powering the second stage of Soyuz-2, designated Block I. The URM-2 has a diameter of 3.6 meters for the Angara A5 and other proposed variants. The Angara 1.2 will fly a smaller RD-0124A-powered second stage, which may be 2.66 meters to maintain commonality with Block I[19] or stretched to 2.9 meters to maintain a consistent diameter with URM-1.[20]

Upper stages[edit]

Angara 1.2 will not use an upper stage, nor will Angara A5 when delivering payloads to low orbits.[16] For higher energy orbits such as GTO, Angara A5 will use the Briz-M upper stage (currently used for the Proton-M rocket), powered by one S5.98M burning N
and UDMH, or eventually a new cryogenic upper stage, the KVTK. This stage will use the LH2/LOX powered RD-0146D and allow Angara A5 to bring up to two tonnes more mass to GTO.[16] The Blok D is being considered as an upper stage when launched from Vostochny since it will avoid the toxic propellant of the Briz-M.[21]


The Angara rocket family, from the 1.1 to the A7.

Angara 1.2[edit]

The smallest Angara under development is the Angara 1.2, which consists of one URM-1 core and a modified Block I second stage. It has a lift-off mass of 171 tonnes and can deliver 3.8 tonnes of payload to a 200 km x 60° orbit.[19][22]

Angara 1.2pp[edit]

A modified Angara 1.2, called Angara 1.2pp (Angara-1.2 pervyy polyot, meaning Angara-1.2 first flight), made Angara's inaugural suborbital flight on July 9, 2014. This flight lasted 22 minutes and carried a mass simulator weighing 1,430 kilograms (3,150 lb).[23] Angara 1.2PP weighed 171,000 kilograms (377,000 lb) and consisted of a URM-1 core stage and a partially fueled 3.6-metre (12 ft)-diameter URM-2, allowing each of the major components of Angara A5 to be flight tested before that version's first orbital launch, conducted on December 23, 2014.[15]

Angara A5[edit]

The second Angara developed was the Angara A5 heavy lift launch vehicle, which consists of one URM-1 core and four URM-1 boosters, a 3.6m URM-2 second stage, and an upper stage, either the Briz-M or the KVTK.[16] Weighing 773 tonnes at lift-off, Angara A5 has a payload capacity of 24.5 tonnes to a 200 km x 60° orbit. Angara A5 is able to deliver 5.4 tonnes to GTO with Briz-M, or 7.5 tonnes to the same orbit with KVTK.[22]

In the Angara A5, the four URM-1s used as boosters operate at full thrust for approximately 214 seconds, then separate. The URM-1 forming the vehicle's core is operated at full thrust for lift off, then throttled down to 30% to conserve propellant. The core is throttled back up after the boosters have separated and continues burning for another 110 seconds.[17]

Proposed versions[edit]

Angara 1.1[edit]

Initial plans called for an even smaller Angara 1.1 using a Briz-KM as a second stage, with a payload capacity of 2 tonnes. This version was cancelled as it fell into the same payload class as the Soyuz 2-1v, which made its debut flight in 2013.[19]

Angara A3[edit]

The Angara A3 would consist of one URM-1 core, two URM-1 boosters, the 3.6m URM-2, and an optional Briz-M or hydrogen powered upper stage for high energy orbits. The hydrogen powered stage for this vehicle, called RCAF would be smaller than the Angara A5's KVTK. This vehicle has no current plans for use (14.6 tonnes to 200 km x 60°, 2.4 tonnes to GTO with Briz-M or 3.6 tonnes with a hydrogen upper stage),[22] but could be developed as a replacement for Zenit.[24]

Angara A5P[edit]


Khrunichev has proposed an Angara A5 capable of launching a new crewed spacecraft weighing up to 18 tonnes: the Angara 5P. This version would have 4 URM-1s as boosters surrounding a sustainer core URM-1 but lack a second stage, relying on the spacecraft to complete orbital insertion from a slightly suborbital trajectory, much like the Buran or Space Shuttle. This has the advantage of allowing all engines to be lit and checked out while on the ground, eliminating the possibility of an engine failing to start after staging. The RD-191 engines may also be operated at reduced thrust to improve safety.[6][25]

Angara A5V[edit]

Khrunichev has proposed an upgraded Angara A5 variant with a new big hydrogen-based upper stage(URM-2V) as replacement for URM-2 and upgraded engine thrust on the URM-1 stages. The thrust up the URM-1 boosters would be 10% higher during the first 40 seconds to allow good thrust/weight ratio even with the URM-2 replaced with the heavier URM-2V. Cross-feed and even more powerful RD-195 engines for the URM-1 are also considered. The capacity of A5V is supposed to be around 35-40 tonnes to LEO depending on final configuration.[26]

Angara A7[edit]

Proposals exist for a heavier Angara A7, weighing 1133 tonnes and capable of putting 35 tonnes into a 200 km x 60° orbit, or delivering 12.5 tonnes to GTO with an enlarged KVTK-A7 as a second stage in place of the URM-2.[22] There are no current plans to develop this vehicle as it would require a larger core URM-1 to carry more propellant and would have to await the development of the hydrogen powered engine for KVTK. The Angara A7 would also require a different launch pad.[27][28]


The Angara-100 was a 2005 proposal by Khrunichev to build a heavy-lift launch vehicle for NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. The rocket would consist of four RD-170-powered boosters, an RD-180-powered core stage, and a cryogenic upper stage using a modified Energia RD-0120 engine, the RD-0122. Its payload capacity to LEO would be in excess of 100 tons.[29]


Together with NPO Molniya, Khrunichev has also proposed a reusable URM-1 booster named Baikal. The URM-1 would be fitted with a wing, an empennage, a landing gear, a return flight engine and attitude control thrusters, to enable the rocket to return to an airfield after completing its mission.[30]



Version Angara 1.2 Angara A5
Booster N/A 4xURM-1
First stage 1xURM-1 1xURM-1
Second stage Modified Block I URM-2
Third stage (not used for LEO) Briz-M/Blok DM-03/KVTK[31]
Thrust (at sea level) 1.92 MN 9.61 MN
Launch weight 171.5 t 759 t
Height (maximal) 41.5 m 55.4 m
Payload (LEO 200 km) 3.8 t 24.5 t
Payload (GTO) 5.4/7.5 t
Payload (GEO) 3/4.6 t

Cancelled or proposed[edit]

Version Angara 1.1


Angara A3


Angara A5P


Angara A5V


Angara A7


Angara A7.2B


Boosters N/A 2xURM-1 4xURM-1 4xURM-1 6xURM-1 6xURM-1
First stage 1xURM-1 1xURM-1 1xURM-1 1xURM-1 1xURM-1 1xURM-1
Second stage Briz-KM Modified Block I URM-2V KVTK-A7[31] URM-2
Third stage (not used for LEO) Briz-M/RCAF[31] - Blok DM-03/KVTK - KVTK2-А7В
Thrust (at sea level) 1.92 MN 5.77 MN 9.61 MN 10.57 MN 13.44 MN
Launch weight 149 t 481 t 713 t 815 - 821 t 1133 t 1323 t
Height (maximal) 34.9 m 45.8 m ? ? ? 65,7 m
Payload (LEO 200 km) 2.0 t 14.6 t 18.0 t 35 - 40 t 35 t 50 t
Payload (GTO) 2.4/3.6 t 11.9 - 13.3 t 12.5 t 19 t
Payload (GEO) 1.0/2.0 t 7.2 - 8 t 7.6 t 11.4 t

Testing and manufacturing[edit]

The production of the Universal Rocket Modules and the Briz-M upper stages will take place at the Khrunichev subsidiary Production Corporation Polyot in Omsk. In 2009, Polyot invested over 771.4 million RUB (about $25 million) in Angara production lines.[6] Design and testing of the RD-191 engine was done by NPO Energomash, while its mass production will take place at the company Proton-PM in Perm.[6]



Angara will primarily be launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Beginning in 2021, plans call for it to also be launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.[33] This would allow the phase out of Proton, a rocket whose operation at Baikonur Cosmodrome Kazakhstan has objected to, due to its use of large amounts of highly toxic UDMH and N
, and reliability issues.[34]

List of launches[edit]

Date/Time (UTC) Configuration Serial number Launch pad Outcome
Payload Separation orbit Operator Function
July 9, 2014
Angara 1.2PP 71601 Plesetsk Cosmodrome Area 35 Start 1 Successful
1,430 kg (3,150 lb) mass simulator[23] Suborbital Test flight
Non-standard Angara 1.2PP allowed flight testing of both URM-1 and URM-2
December 23, 2014
Angara A5/Briz-M 71751 Plesetsk Cosmodrome Area 35 Start 1 Successful
2,000 kg (4,400 lb) mass simulator Geosynchronous [15] Test flight
Maiden flight of Angara A5, mass simulator intentionally not separated from Briz-M upper stage[35]

Future Launches

2019[36] Angara A1.2 N/A Plesetsk Cosmodrome Area 35 Start 1
Gonets-M 17, Gonets-M 18, Gonets-M 19 LEO Communications
Maiden flight and first commercial flight of Angara A1.2.
2019[36] Angara A1.2 N/A Plesetsk Cosmodrome Area 35 Start 1
Gonets-M 20, Gonets-M 21, Gonets-M 22 LEO Communications
2019[36] Angara A5P / DM-03 N/A Plesetsk Cosmodrome Area 35 Start 1
Luch-5M Geosynchronous Communications
2020[36] Angara A1.2 N/A Plesetsk Cosmodrome Area 35 Start 1
KOMPSAT-6 LEO Korea Aerospace Research Institute SAR Earth observation

Related projects[edit]

The South Korean launch vehicle Naro-1 used a first stage derived from Angara's URM-1 (fitted with a lower-thrust version of the RD-191 engine called RD-151). The vehicle made its first flight on August 25, 2009. The flight was not successful, but the first stage operated as expected. A second launch on June 10, 2010 ended in failure, when contact with the rocket was lost 136 seconds after launch. The Joint Failure Review Board failed to come to a consensus on the cause of the failure.[37] The third flight on January 30, 2013 successfully reached orbit.

Comparable rockets[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Angara-5 to replace Proton".
  2. ^ Ralph, Eric. "Russia quietly shelves development of sole SpaceX Falcon 9-competitive rocket". Teslarati. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  3. ^ "Angara Launch Vehicle Family". Spaceflight101. Retrieved September 11, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Kazakhstan Finally Ratifies Baikonur Rental Deal With Russia". SpaceDaily. April 12, 2010. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  5. ^ Zak, Anatoly (July 3, 2016). "Origin of the Angara project". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Vorontsov, Dmitri; Igor Afanasyev (November 10, 2009). "Angara getting ready for launch". Russia CIS Observer. 3 (26). Archived from the original on January 1, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  7. ^ Zak, Anatoly (August 2, 2017). "Building Angara". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  8. ^ "A new engine is ready for Angara" (in Russian). RU. September 5, 2008.
  9. ^ "URM-1 is being prepared for the burn tests" (in Russian). January 29, 2009.
  10. ^ "Interview with Vladimir Nesterov, Director-General, Khrunichev Space Center". Khrunichev. RU: Marker. January 13, 2011.
  11. ^ "Preparations for the first Angara launch". August 15, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  12. ^ Stephen Clark (July 9, 2014). "First Angara rocket launched on suborbital test flight". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  13. ^ Sample, Ian (July 9, 2014). "Russia test launches first new space rocket since Soviet era". The Guardian. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  14. ^ "Russia's Angara rocket 'makes debut'" Jonathan Amos, BBC News, July 9, 2014
  15. ^ a b c "Russia made its first test launch "Angara-A5"". RIA Novosti. December 23, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  16. ^ a b c d "Angara Launch Vehicles Family". Khrunichev. Retrieved July 25, 2009.
  17. ^ a b "Angara A5". Spaceflight 101. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  18. ^ Zak, Anatoly (January 12, 2016). "URM-1 rocket module". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c "Angara 1.2". Spaceflight 101. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  20. ^ Zak, Anatoly (October 9, 2016). "URM-2 rocket module". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  21. ^ Zak, Anatoly (July 22, 2017). "Angara to replace Proton". Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  22. ^ a b c d "Angara Launch Vehicles Family". Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  23. ^ a b "Angara, Russia's brand-new launch vehicle, is successfully launched from Plesetsk". Khrunichev. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  24. ^ "Angara A2". Spaceflight 101. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  25. ^ Zak, Anatoly (July 21, 2017). "Angara-5P launch vehicle". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  26. ^ Zak, Anatoly (July 23, 2017). "Angara-A5V (Angara 5V) launch vehicle". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  27. ^ "Angara A7". Spaceflight 101. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  28. ^ Zak, Anatoly (November 12, 2011). "The Angara-7 rocket". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  29. ^ Zak, Anatoly (January 8, 2013). "Angara-100". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  30. ^ "Baikal Reusable Launch Vehicle". Khrunichev. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  31. ^ a b c "KVTK" (in Russian). Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center.
  32. ^ "Angara A7". Spaceflight 101. Archived from the original on July 11, 2014. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
  33. ^ Zak, Anatoly (November 14, 2014). "Angara to move to Vostochny". Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  34. ^ "Russia Reviews Proton Breeze M Reliability". Aviation Week. March 19, 2013. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  35. ^ "Разгонный блок "Бриз-М" вывел на целевую орбиту условный спутник, запущенный на "Ангаре"" [Briz-M upper stage brought satellite to orbit, launched by Angara]. ITAR-TASS (in Russian). December 23, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  36. ^ a b c d Pietrobon, Steven (December 23, 2017). "Russian Launch Manifest". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  37. ^ Probe into failed launch, KBS World

External links[edit]