Russia Tuesday carried out the first test launch of a new heavy-class Angara A5 rocket, the defence ministry said.
The rocket was launched at Plesetsk cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk region, Xinhua reported.
Twelve minutes after the lift-off, the orbiting payload model separated in the third stage.
The Briz-M upper stage would carry the model to the target orbit for payload weight and dimension tests, the ministry said.
President Vladimir Putin watched the rocket launch via video.
“This is indeed a great and very important event for our aerospace industry and for Russia in general,” Putin said.
The president added that the Angara A5, using the most advanced technologies, will help place any type of satellite into orbit, for either military or scientific purposes.
The Angara A5 can be placed into orbit with a payload of 1.5 to 35 tonnes.
The first manned mission using Angara is planned for 2018 from the newly built Vostochny cosmodrome in the Amur region.
Investment in the Angara project has exceeded $3 billion (roughly Rs. 18,980 crores) over the last 20 years.