MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. The construction of the launch pad for the Angara-A5 carrier rocket will begin at the Far Eastern Vostochny space center next year, the head of Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta government daily.
"The construction is due to begin next year," Igor Komarov said in an interview published on the Cosmonautics Day, marked on Wednesday.
He said the construction of the launch pad for the super-heavy version of Angara is also scheduled, "but this is already beyond 2025."
The new-generation Angara carrier rocket is based on versatile rocket modules with environmentally friendly oxygen/kerosene engines. The Angara family comprises carrier rockets from the light to heavy classes, intended to replace the Proton and Rokot launch vehicles that have toxic components in their fuel. The light version of the Angara carrier rocket was launched in July 2014 for the first time, while the heavy version of the carrier rocket blasted off in December 2014
The first launch of Angara from Vostochny is scheduled for 2019. The International Launch Services company, that launches the Proton-M and Angara rockets, plans to start commercial launches of Angara from 2020 to gradually replace the Protons.
The first launch of Russia’s Angara-A5M heavy rocket is planned from the Vostochny cosmodrome in 2021, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Facebook on Saturday.
"On June 3, the defense-industry complex’s board and Roskosmos outlined priority works to make a new super-heavy class rocket and to build infrastructures at the Vostochny cosmodrome," he wrote. "The first launch of the Angara-A5M heavy rocket from Vostochny is planned for 2021."
Earlier reports were that Roskosmos cancelled works on a piloted version of the Angara-A5 rocket - Angara-A5P, and suspended construction of infrastructures for piloted launches at the Vostochny cosmodrome until the super-heavy rocket is made.