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Russia successfully test-launches new rocket

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The Angara-A5 rocket blasts off from the Plesetsk cosmodrome. A Ria Novosti/ Russian Defence Ministry photo

MOSCOW (AFP): Russia on Tuesday successfully test-launched its newest heavy-class Angara rocket, which has been developed with a view to launching manned spacecraft, the defence ministry said.

President Vladimir Putin oversaw by video link the launch of the Angara-A5 from Plesetsk in northern Russia at 1127 IST, the defence ministry said in a statement.

The test launch of the light version of the Angara rocket in June was unsuccessful due to a sudden automatic launch abort.

Designed to succeed Proton and other Soviet-era launchers, the Angara is billed as the first rocket to have been completely built after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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