Russia aborts launch of Angara-A5 space rocket from Vostochny Cosmodrome

MOSCOW (Reuters) -A technical malfunction forced Russia on Tuesday to abort the test launch of the Angara-A5 rocket from its Vostochny Cosmodrome minutes before it was scheduled to lift off.

The decision was made due a malfunction of the pressurising system of the oxidiser tank, the RIA news agency cited Russian Space chief Yuri Borisov as saying.

The heavy booster rocket is the first one designed in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union and is supposed to deliver to orbit the modules for Russia's planned space station and satellites for the Russian navigation system, GLONASS.

According to an announcement made through loudspeakers at the launch pad, the launch - which was supposed to be the first for this type of rocket at Russia's new launch site - was delayed by 24 hours.

Due to its location closer to the equator, Angara-A5 can deliver a heavier payload to orbit if launched from Vostochny, Russia's first and only post-Soviet spacecraft launch site, than from Plesetsk, an Soviet-era facility where it has had three successful test launches.

Tuesday's setback follows the failure of a Russian moon mission last August, its first in 47 years, when the spacecraft crashed into the moon.

Somewhat restoring Moscow's standing in the space race, Russian Soyuz spacecraft successfully blasted off to the International Space Station last month with a crew of three and returned last week, although its launch had also been delayed due to a glitch.

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Tomasz Janowski)