The Angara rocket, the first new Russian design for a booster since the Cold War, was ready for its maiden flight on 27 June, when launch was scrubbed just over a minute before liftoff was scheduled.
Liftoff was to take place from a launch pad in Plesetsk, in the northeastern regions of Russia. That vehicle was scheduled to reach the far-eastern stretches of Kamchatka after just 21 minutes of flight.
"Technical issues" were cited as the cause of the launch delay by unnamed sources in the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
Aleksandr Golovko, commander of that nation's aerospace defense troops, stated the mission would be re-scheduled for the following day.
That goal was also missed, as flight management personnel announced they will need more time to determine the exact nature of the original failure.
News of the original launch failure was reported to Russian president Vladimir Putin by his Defense Secretary, Sergey Shoigu. He asked the national leader for an hour to gather information about the failure.
"Do not rush the work. Carefully analyze everything and report to me after an hour," Putin said to Shoigu, according to Russia Today.
Angara rockets represent the first new rocket for Moscow since the fall of Communism. Development has proceeded on the booster design since 1994, at a cost of around three billion dollars. The boosters can launch between 4,400 and 110,000 pounds of material into low-Earth orbit.
Angara represents an important segment the post-soviet era for the nation's space program. But, development of the craft could also represent a vital link to space for the nation.
Currently, Roscosmos sends payloads to space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, located in Kazakhstan. As in the Ukraine, other former Soviet republics could experience tensions with Moscow. Development of the Angara rocket would provide Russia with significant launch capabilities for unmanned vehicles from its own territory. In addition to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, another facility is under construction, Vostochny Cosmodrome, near Russia's Pacific border.
After ten years in development, the Russian space program needs the booster to provide the next generation of rides to space for satellites and observatories. Moving launch operations entirely inside the country could also provide Putin - a former KGB official - with greater secrecy surrounding launches and payloads.
Moscow has recently announced they will be proceeding with their next stages of space exploration independent of the International Space Station.
A new launch date for the maiden flight of Angara is expected to be announced soon.