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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Russia test launches first new space rocket since Soviet era

The Angara rocket's quiet debut was in marked contrast to the live broadcast of an embarrassing aborted first launch attempt, watched by President Vladimir Putin via video link from the Kremlin.

"The first test launch of the light-class Angara-1.2PP space rocket was conducted by the Air and Space Defence Forces," Russia's Defence Ministry said in a statement, cited by Russian news agencies.

The rocket blasted off at 1600 Moscow time (1200 GMT), it said, on a planned roughly 20 minute suborbital short flight across Russia's Arctic coast line.

More than two decades in the works, the new generation Angara rockets are a key to President Vladimir Putin's effort to reform a once-pioneering space industry hobbled after years of budget cuts and a brain drain in the 1990s. [ID:nL6N0P82U4]

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