|Angara Khrunichev - Angara Khrunichev model|
Credit: Khrunichev. 5,858 bytes. 80 x 312 pixels.
The Angara is a new all-Russian heavy launch vehicle to replace the Zenit (built by a Ukrainian company) and Proton (only launch pads on Kazakh territory). The booster is sized for rail transport of modular manufactured components to cosmodromes at Plesetsk and Svobodniy. The design features a single modular core that could be clustered for large payloads or used as a first stage with a variety of existing upper stages. The cold flow test article was exhibited at the Paris Air Show in the summer of 1999. By that time a total of 19 possible variants of the launch vehicle had been studied. All plans for the Angara were dependent on financing and subject to constant change.
The booster will use engines developed for Zenit. The original design featured a unique parallel fuel tank configuration in both first and second stages. This Khrunichev design beat competing NPO Energia design and Energia-M as alternatives. However the second stage was initially subcontracted to Energia by Khrunichev.
By 1999 the design had evolved to a very different scheme similar to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles being developed for the US Air Force. The new design took into account commercial considerations and concentrated on development of a single modular core that could be clustered for large payloads and used as a first stage with a variety of existing upper stages.
This core is designated the Universal Rocket Module (URM). Production drawings were released in February 1999 and the cold flow test article was flown to the Paris Air Show and exhibited in the summer of 1999. By that time a total of 19 possible variants of the launch vehicle had been studied. The plan at that time was for the construction of three ground-test articles to be followed by three test flights beginning by the end of 2000 and completed by June 2001. First launches would be from the former Zenit pad at Plesetsk.
The initial flight version would be the Angara 1.1 with an existing upper stage. The Angara 1.2 would use a new Block I high-energy upper stage (payload 3.7 tonnes to a 200 km / 63 deg orbit).
A variant of interest include the Angara IVA (as the Angara 1.2 but with a winged, recoverable URM - 158 tonnes lift-off mass, 2.7 tonne payload to a 200 km / 63 deg orbit). The winged URM would have two jet engines and fly back to the Mirniy airfield at Plesetsk for recovery. One problem is that some abort profiles will require overflight of Norway. First flight of this version was predicted for 2003.
Another version is the Orel, consisting of the Angara 3I plus an MKK spaceplane, similar to the MAKS. This would have a 431 tonne gross lift-off mass, with the spacecraft weighing 13.5 tonnes including a 4.2 tonne payload. This could be an eventual replacement of the Soyuz spacecraft for ferry of crews to space stations.
All such plans were dependent on financing and subject to constant change.
Credit: Khrunichev. 11,437 bytes. 291 x 196 pixels.
Credit: © Mark Wade. 1,649 bytes. 83 x 397 pixels.