The 1.1 scale model of the Angara A5 heavy launcher has arrived at Vostochny. It will be used to test the new launch pad and ground tests of the new Orjol spacecraft, particularly the tests of the emergency SAS system.
The preparation activity for the crewed launches of Angara A5 begins
After the first test flights, which will be followed by the first operational flight from the Plesetsk military cosmodrome this year, the new Angara A5 heavy launcher leaves for the Vostochny civil cosmodrome to start the testing phases of the new ramp launch pad in anticipation of its use with the Orjol (Russian: Eagle) next-generation manned vehicle.
For this phase it is necessary to use a 1:1 scale version of the complete launcher on the ground, called Angara NZh where NZh stands for static prototype.
What is Angara NZh?
It is a complete version, on a 1:1 scale, of the Angara launcher in its A5 version, the most powerful, also intended to carry the newly piloted Orjol spacecraft into space. Equipped with all flight systems perfectly operational, it represents the test bed for all the system integration tests necessary to be able to install a vehicle intended for crew transport. Only the engines are not operational, but they are a perfectly reproduced model that will be used to test all the circulation of fluids inside them.
Once assembled, the Angara NZh will be transported to the new launch pad, currently in an advanced state of construction, for all the tests necessary for the static testing of the system. Furthermore, a prototype of the Orjol vehicle equipped with the complete SAS system, the extensively tested ejection tower on Soyuz ships, will be installed.
The H0 test
It is precisely for testing the effectiveness of the emergency system on the Orjol that the so-called Test H0 will be carried out.
This is a test, to be carried out on the launch pad, in which a critical failure is simulated in the seconds preceding the launch, with the engines already running. It is an event that, in the operational life of the Soyuz, already happened on Sept. 9, 1983, during the launch of the Soyuz T-10.
The solid fuel engines of the SAS tower, coupled to the command module of the Orjol, will launch it at an altitude and a safe distance from the ramp, then the tower will be released. The command module, after getting rid of the heat shield that will be recovered at sea, will proceed with the opening of the emergency parachute and will allow the crew to return to land safely.
The Angara family
The launchers of the Angara class (named after a river in southern Siberia) follow the concept of the so-called Universal Launcher, so dear to Soviet designers Celomej and Glushko.
Equipped with a standardized stage system, it essentially has two types of blocks that can be configured in the various stages of the launcher: URM-1, equipped with an RD-191 closed-cycle single-chamber engine, intended for the first stage, and URM-2, fitted with a four-chamber closed-cycle RD-0124A engine, the same as the Soyuz-2. The combination of the various URMs defines the multiple versions of the launcher.
Currently, there are two: Angara 2.1, which uses a URM-1 in the first stage and a URM-2 in the second, and Angara A5, which uses five URM-1 in the first stage and a URM-2 in the second. This system, straightforward and practical, allows for many variations, simply by increasing or decreasing the number of URM-1s in the first stage.