Russia postpones heavy-lift rocket launch for second consecutive day

Russia’s attempt to test-launch a new heavy-lift rocket from its Far Eastern space complex was aborted for the second day in a row 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 a failure of the pressurization system of the oxidizer tank of the central block of the rocket. 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. While Roscosmos has continued to rely on Baikonur, they 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.