Well, that probably wasn’t the most comfortable moment for Russian space officials. The first launch of Russia’s new space rocket, the Angara rocket, was aborted right before blastoff.
The Angara rocket is Russia’s first new design of a space capable rocket since the Soviet Union era.
What happened? Russian officials said an automatic safety system aborted the rocket’s launch right before takeoff. No reason was given for the abort.
Russian State TV said the launch would be delayed for 24 hours.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was watching a live feed of the pending launch, ordered his generals to find out the cause of the delay within an hour. You can bet space officials were sweating bullets as they rushed to find the cause. Putin ordered his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to investigate the delay and figure out what caused the abort.
Besides needing a fresh design, the Angara rocket will allow Russia to not rely on Kazakhstan and others for its space launches. Currently, Russia launches from the Baikonur launch pad, which it leases from Kazakhstan.
Russian intends to start launching satellites from a new space port being built-in the eastern part of Russia.
Early word is Russia plans to try again tomorrow. That may change if some issue is found with the Angara rocket over the next 24 hours. Worst case? Putin can throw a little spit and elbow grease on it and get it launched. Should be nothing for Russia’s exuberant leader.