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In the meantime:

(Historical background for the events described in this section)

1991 December: The Soviet Union officially ceased to exist.

2004 January: US President George W. Bush ordered NASA to prepare plans for the return of US astronauts to the Moon.



The Angara-3 rocket was designed to take a middle position in the family of launch vehicles proposed by Moscow-based GKNPTs Khrunichev enterprise in mid-1990s.


Previous chapter: Angara-1

Made of three standard "universal rocket modules" or URM-1, and topped with a single upper stage, the Angara-3 would be capable of delivering up to 14 tons into the low-Earth orbit, LEO, after the launch from Russia's Northern Cosmodrome in Plesetsk. All stages of the rocket would burn ecologically "clean" mix of kerosene and liquid oxygen. The standard version of the Angara-3 would borrow the payload fairing from the Proton rocket. Angara-3 could be complemented with upper stages such as Briz-M and Fregat. (355)

Khrunichev's designers, saw the Angara-3 as a potential launcher for a new generation of its TKS spacecraft, proposed by the company at the beginning of 2005. At the time , a "man-rated" version of the Angara-3 rocket was designated as Angara-A3M.


At the beginning of 21st century, Khrunichev's promotional documents optimistically projected the introduction of the Angara-3 rocket in 2003 or 2004, however as of 2014, the Russian space agency or the Ministry of Defense were yet to announce any missions for Angara-3.



Technical specifications for the Angara-3 rocket:

Number of stages
Payload to LEO, (Circular 200 kilometers, inclination 63 degrees from Plesetsk
14 tons
Payload to geostationary transfer orbit (Altitude of perigee -- 5,500 kilometers, inclination -- 25 degrees) from Plesetsk
2.5 tons
Payload to geostationary orbit from Plesetsk
1.0 tons
Launch mass
478 tons
Payload fairing diameter
4,350 mm
Total length
45,809 mm
Stage I
Stage I propulsion
Single (1) one-chamber RD-191
Stage I liftoff mass
132.6 tons
Stage I dry mass
8.5 tons
Stage I fuel
Kerosene (RP-1)
Stage I oxidizer
Liquid Oxygen
Stage I main diameter
2,900 mm
Stage I length
25,695 mm
Stage II
Stage II propulsion
Single (1) four-chamber RD-0124A
Stage II liftoff mass
35.8 tons
Stage II dry mass
3.2 tons
Stage II fuel
Kerosene (RP-1)
Stage II oxidizer
Liquid Oxygen
Stage II main diameter
3,600 mm
Stage II length
6,874 mm


Technical specifications of the RD-191 engine:

Thrust at the sea level
196 tons
Specific Impulse at the sea level
309 seconds
Thrust in vacuum
212 tons
Specific Impulse in vacuum
337 seconds

Next chapter: Angara-5




To purchase high-resolution versions of these images or order other renderings contact Anatoly Zak

Scale model of the original version of the Angara-3 rocket. Copyright © 2001 Anatoly Zak

Artist rendering of the Angara-A3M rocket. Click to enlarge: 183 by 400 pixels / 12K Copyright © 2005 by Anatoly Zak