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Russia to test launch Angara carrier rocket in 2011

RIA Novosti photo

MOSCOW (BNS): Khrunichev State Space Science and Production Center’s first deputy head Vasily Sychyov announced here that the country’s new Angara carrier rocket would start test flights in 2011.

Sychyov said that the work was going on according to schedule. “A light-class Angara will be launched in early 2011 and a heavy class rocket will be launched at the end of that year,” he said.

Sounding excited, Khrunichev's first deputy head said that after 2011, all heavy satellites would be sent into orbit on the Angara from a space center located on Russian territory.

With launches from the Plesetsk space center, Russia’s dependence on Kazakhstan for the use of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, will be reduced. Currently, the Angara, designed to place heavy payloads into orbit, is under production at the Khrunichev State Space Science and Production Center.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports that the Khrunichev Space Center has asked the government to allocate additional 10 billion rubles (about $290 mln) over the next three years to finish the development of the Angara rocket.

“If we want to launch the rocket in 2011, we will need additional funds,” the head of the Khrunichev Space Center, Vladimir Nesterov, told Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, RIA Novosti reports.

The agency quoted Nesterov as saying that the project will require 3 billion rubles ($86 mln) in 2009, 5.7 billion ($164 mln) in 2010 and 1.4 billion ($40 mln) in 2011.

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