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New Russian Rocket Rescheduled to Launch Tomorrow

Jun 27, 2014 11:12 AM EDT
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The historic launch of Russia's new flagship space rocket was postponed Friday just minutes before take-off. The Russian Federal Space Agency has attributed the delay to minor technical issues, and plans to try again on Saturday.

The agency, also known as Roscosmos, cancelled the launch today right before count-down after an automated diagnostics system notified an on-site engineering team of an overlooked technical issue, according to Russia Today.

"During the launch preparation an automated system has given a red light for carrying out the launch. The launch has been postponed to the reserve date of June 28," Aleksandr Golovko, commander of Russia's aerospace defense troops, told Russian media.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was to watch the launch remotely, reportedly told Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu to have the engineering team take their time, but to have a brief report for him in one hour. Since then, no further details about why the launch was scrubbed have emerged, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

This would have been the historic first launch of Russia's new flagship rocket, the Angara. This next generation of space rocket has been in development since 1994 and has cost Russia about $3 billion to see through development, according to TIME magazine.

The Angara has now been rescheduled for to launch from the military launch pad in Plesetsk at 3:15 p.m. Moscow time (11:15 GMT) on June 28.

This is the second delayed launch this week, with the delay of SpaceX's Falcon occurring Tuesday to give the private space-travel company's engineering team more time to ensure a flawless launch - now scheduled to occur early next month.

That was the latest delay of the Orbcomm OG2 mission Falcon flight, on top of three previous delays due to bad weather and various technical issues that prevented lift-off.

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