Russia's second attempt to launch a heavy-lift rocket from Far East is aborted

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s second attempt to test-launch a new heavy-lift rocket from its Far Eastern space complex was aborted on Wednesday.

The launch of the Angara-A5 rocket from the Vostochny spaceport was canceled about two minutes before its planned time of 0900 GMT. State news agency RIA-Novosti said the cause was failure of the pressurization system of the oxidizer tank of the central block of the rocket.

National space agency Roscosmos said another launch attempt will be postponed for at least one day.

The first attempt on Tuesday also failed because the automatic safety system registered a flaw in the oxidizer tank pressurization system, said Roscosmos head Yuri Borisov.

The launch was to be the fourth for the Angara-A5, a heavy-lift version of the new Angara family of rockets that has been developed to replace the Soviet-designed Proton rockets.

The previous three launches were carried out from the Plesetsk launchpad in northwestern Russia.

After the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia leased the Baikonur Cosmodrome from Kazakhstan and continued to use it for most of its space launches. The agreement with Kazakhstan allows Russia to keep leasing Baikonur for $115 million a year through 2050.

While Roscosmos has continued to rely on Baikonur, Russian authorities have developed Vostochny as the facility of choice for Angara launches. The construction of the new spaceport has dragged on for longer than planned and it has seen only limited use so far.

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