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Russia's Angara rocket engine test successful

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia's Khrunichev Space and Research Center has successfully carried out engine tests of the first stage of the new Angara carrier rocket.

The environment-friendly rockets will be used for military and civilian purposes, specifically to put into orbit satellites as part of the Federal Space Program, as well as joint international space projects.

The Angara rockets will replace the existing line of Rockot and Proton launch vehicles. It will be available in a range of configurations capable of lifting between from 2 to 24.5 metric tons into low-earth orbit, according to Ria Novosti.

The rocket will be launched from the Plesetsk space center to reduce Moscow's dependence on Kazakhstan's Baikonur, the main launch facility for the current generation of Russian rockets.

The Khrunichev center recently asked the government to allocate an additional 10 billion rubles (about $290 million) over the next three years to finish the development of the rocket.

The development of the rocket itself is going according to schedule. The facilities were expected to be finished by 2010, and the first launch had been originally scheduled for 2011.

KEYWORDS: MOSCOW, Russia, Khrunichev Space and Research Center, Angara carrier rocket, satellites, Federal Space Program, space projects, Rockot and Proton launch vehicles, low-earth orbit, Plesetsk space center, Moscow, Kazakhstan's Baikonur, Russian rockets, Khrunichev center.

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