Sweden launches search rocket, accidentally hits Norway

By RockedBuzz 2 Min Read
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STOCKHOLM (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – A research rocket launched by Sweden Space Corp (SSC) from Esrange space center in northern Sweden on Monday malfunctioned and landed 15km (9.32 miles) inside neighboring Norway .

The rocket reached an altitude of 250 kilometers (155.34 miles) where zero-gravity experiments were conducted, the agency said in a statement.

“It landed in the mountains at an altitude of 1,000 meters and 10 kilometers from the nearest settlement,” SSC communications chief Philip Ohlsson told RockedBuzz via Reuters.

There are routines in place when things go wrong and we inform both the Swedish and Norwegian governments and other actors, he said.

Work is underway on payload recovery and an investigation is being launched to determine the technical details behind the unplanned flight path, the agency said.

“The Norwegian authorities take any unauthorized activity on the Norwegian side of the border very seriously,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said by email.

In the event of a border violation, those responsible should immediately notify the relevant Norwegian authorities, including the Foreign Ministry, through the right channels, the spokesman said.

The ministry has not received formal notification of the incident from Swedish authorities, he added.

Working on Norwegian soil to salvage any wreckage also required prior consent, the spokesman said.

Norway’s foreign ministry said it was unaware of any damage to its surroundings, while an SSC spokesman said the rocket fell far from any settlements.

The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Marie Mannes in Stockholm, additional reporting by Nora Buli in Oslo; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Bill Berkrot)

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