MOSCOW, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Russia successfully carried out the first test launch of a newest heavy-class Angara A5 rocket on Tuesday.
The rocket was launched at Plesetsk cosmodrome in Russia's northern Arkhangelsk region at 08:57 a.m. Moscow Time (0557 GMT), according to the Defense Ministry press service.
Twelve minutes after the liftoff, the orbiting payload model separated from the third stage.
The Briz-M upper stage would carry the model to the target orbit for payload weight and dimension tests, said the press service.
Russian 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 later.
The president added that the Angara A5, using the most advanced technologies, will help place any type of satellites into orbit, for either military or scientific purposes.
"(These satellites) are intended for missile attack early-warning systems, intelligence use, navigation, as well as communications and rebroadcast. It will allow us to further consolidate Russia's security," Interfax news agency quoted Putin as saying.
Angara A5 can be placed into orbit with a payload of 1.5 to 35 tons. The first manned mission using Angara is planned for 2018 from the newly built Vostochny cosmodrome in the Amur region in Russia's Fast East.
Investment in the Angara project has exceeded 3 billion U.S. dollars over the last 20 years.