Plesetsk Cosmodrome is a spaceport, located in the Arkhangelsk Region. It was originally developed by the Soviet Union as a launch site for intercontinental ballistic missiles. On January 11, 1957 the Soviet Government passed the resolution about the foundation of a special military object with secret name ‘Angara’. This secret object had to be situated in Plesetsk District, the Arhangelsk Region. It was named after the town of Plesetsk. The first Soviet Combat formation of intercontinental ballistic missiles R-7 of General designer Koroljev had to be located in that place, in thick northern taiga to the south of Arhangelsk.
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March 17, 1966, was the space birthday of Plesetsk. That day was the first missile launching of the rocket booster Vostok with space vehicle Cosmos 112. Since that time the rocket base Angara has become cosmodrome Plesetsk.
By 1997, more than 1,500 launches to space had been made from the site, more than for any other launch facility, although the usage has declined significantly since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
The Angara rocket family is a family of space-launch vehicles currently under development by the Moscow-based Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. The rockets are intended to become the mainstay of the Russian unmanned launcher fleet in the future and replace several existing systems. The main purpose of the Angara rocket family is to secure Russia’s independent access to space. Angara will reduce Russia’s dependency on the Baikonur Cosmodrome, located in the independent republic of Kazakhstan, and will allow Russia to phase out foreign – mostly Ukrainian – rocket technology.