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New Russian rocket launches military satellite on first mission

A light rocket from the Russian Angara rocket family reportedly launched its first orbital flight last week, sending a payload into the air, according to reports.

The Angara-1.2 rocket launched April 29 from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, about 800 kilometers north of Moscow, according to RussianSpaceWeb.com, run by independent Russian journalist Anatoly Zak.

The success of the launch was confirmed by Russian state media, but with some details. The state publication TASS reported that the missile was launched “in the interests of the Russian Defense Ministry.” The ship received the designation “Cosmos-2555” and transmits telemetry data correctly, the ministry said in a statement.

“The graceful, light Angara approached us and successfully passed the tests. Congratulations to everyone involved on a successful launch,” Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, wrote on Telegram, according to a second TASS report on April 29.

The satellite was launched into a near-polar orbit. Its path was confirmed by the US Space Force, which located it at 96.5 degrees to the equator in an initial orbit of 173 miles by 183 miles (279 by 294 km).

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The Russian Angara rocket launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia on July 9, 2014.

This photograph shows the launch of the Russian Angara-1.2 rocket during a test flight from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia on July 9, 2014. (Image credit: TV Star)

More recent observations, according to RussianSpaceWeb, “showed that the stage actually raised its apogee to an altitude of about 500 kilometers. [311 miles], likely simulating a future mission to deliver to a higher orbit. The vehicle can then be deorbited over the Pacific Ocean.”

Angara-1.2 can lift up to 3.8 tons (3.4 tons) into low Earth orbit, RussianSpaceWeb told RussianSpaceWeb, which is a small fraction of the estimated 24.5 tons (22.2 tons) of payload that can be lifted into space Angara-A5 heavy rocket launched three times. .

This is the second launch of the Angara 1.2 family as a whole after the successful suborbital test of the modified version on July 9, 2014. During suborbital tests, a mass simulator was on board, which stood in place of the payload.

Angara 1.2 launches are sold by International Launch Services, which has historically advertised commercial missions for various clients around the world.

Russia, however, is under numerous international sanctions. 24 invasions of Ukraine, when space objects around the world terminate many of their partnerships with Russia.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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