Russian 'space wars' rocket launch fails and may send 20 tonnes hurtling to Earth

Russia’s largest “space war” missile in decades, the Angara A-5, malfunctioned, only made it into “low orbit” and sent 20 tons of payload back to Earth

The new generation of the Angara A-5 heavy launch vehicle malfunctioned and only made it into “low orbit” (

Image: Russian Defense Ministry / east2west news)

Russia’s largest “space war” missile launch in decades failed and could screaming 20 tons of payload back to Earth, it was claimed.

The new generation of the Angara A-5 heavy launcher malfunctioned and only made it into “low orbit” causing it to miss its target and fall back to Earth.

Although it was only a dummy satellite, it was vital to Russia as a new military weapon carrier system, and most of it will likely burn up when it re-enters the atmosphere.

The footage showed the spectacular unmanned launch from the Plesetsk spaceport on Monday, marking a new stage in Moscow’s space war ambitions.

The missile is designed to put advanced spy and weapons navigation satellites into orbit and can be used on lunar missions.

There are fears that 20 tons of payload could hurtle back to Earth


Russian Defense Ministry / east2west news)

The Angara and Persei boosters carried a simulated satellite payload on this groundbreaking test flight, and experts believe the Angara A-5’s initial missile launch worked, but a bug occurred when it later disconnected from the Persei booster.

According to the Moscow newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets, it left the bogus satellite in low orbit and is likely to crash to Earth in weeks.

The newspaper said the Persei had to do five engine burns on the test mission, but it “worked” on the second.

As a result, “the model satellite cannot reach its intended orbit 22,236 miles above sea level.”

The newspaper said: “This failure can be seen as the first… fully fledged start-up accident in Roscosmos [the Russian space agency] in the past three years.

“If a real satellite had been on board as a payload, it would have been lost.

A test launch of the heavy Angara A5 rocket was “successfully completed” on December 27, 2021


Dmitry Rogozin / east2west news)

“And this failure reminds us that a high level of reliability could only be achieved in recent years by using Roscosmo’s old, long-proven technology.”

It comes from fear of a Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

Moskovsky Komsomolets [MK] reported that the American space tracking service NORAD had reported an unknown object “A” with the number 50505.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin


LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP via Getty Images)

“By all indications – this object is very similar to our Persei, which is stuck in low orbit along with the payload model (satellite),” the paper continued.

“If so, then a total of about 20 uncontrollable tons are flying overhead, which sooner or later will fall.

“It’ll be fine when it’s in the Pacific Ocean.”

Most are expected to burn out upon re-entry into the atmosphere.

The question is where do the leftovers go.

MK reported that the space agency declined to provide information about the launch.

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