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Russian Angara Rocket Launch Fails At Last Minute, For Reasons Unknown

The inaugural test launch of Russia's Angara rocket -- its first new design of a space vehicle since the Soviet era -- was canceled on June 27 minutes before blastoff.

According to officials, the automatic abort system was triggered and the launch was halted. No reason was given for the failure.

The launch, from Russia's northern space complex of Plesetsk, has been delayed until at least June 28.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was observing the launch by video link, gave officials one hour to study the situation and provide the reason for the failure.

The Angara is the first rocket entirely designed and built within post-Soviet Russia's borders.

It is designed to decrease Russia's dependency on the Soviet-era Baikonur space complex in Kazakhstan and to phase out foreign, mostly Ukrainian, rocket technology.

Based on reporting buy Interfax, RIA Novosti, Reuters, and ITAR-TASS