EsrangeInternationalIndiaAfricaNorway called rocket crashes “very serious incidents that can cause serious damage” and urged those responsible for possible border violations to immediately inform the relevant authorities, which Sweden failed to accomplish.A research rocket launched from northern Sweden has plunged into Norwegian mountainside the far north, resulting in a rare case of discord between the neighbors, as bickering Oslo was clearly irked by Stockholm’s failure to immediately inform about the crash.The rocket and its payload, launched early Monday from the Esrange Space Centre in Kiruna in northermost crashed at an altitude of about 1,000 meters in a desolate mountain range in Malselv municipality in Norway’s far north, about 10 kilometers from the closest inhabited area and about 40 kilometers northwest of the planned landing site. The rocket was nine meters long and had a weight of 1.3 tons at takeoff. While no one was injured and no material damage was reported, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry issued a rigid statement.”The crash of a rocket like this is a very serious incident that can cause serious damage,” the foreign ministry in Oslo said in the statement. “When such a border violation occurs, it is crucial that those responsible immediately inform the relevant Norwegian authorities through the proper channels,” it added.Norway’s Civil Aviation Authority also stressed that it had only learned about the crash from the Swedish Space Corporation’s belated press release, with no direct contact.The Swedish rocket was carrying out experiments in zero gravity at an altitude of about 250 kilometers.”The rocket took a slightly longer and more westerly trajectory than calculated and landed after a completed flight 15 kilometers into Norway,” the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) said in a subsequent statement, adding that work to retrieve its payload was underway.However, Norway’s Foreign Ministry also noted that retrieval work was not supposed to begin without Norwegian authorization. It also stressed that wreckage from such rockets may be contaminated with rocket fuel or other toxic materials.While unusual, the event is not unique. In 2009, a rocket shot from Sweden also ended up on the Norwegian side of the border.”We are in the process of investigating what caused us to end up outside the designated area,” Marko Kohberg, the head of the department for rockets and balloons at SSC, told Swedish media.WorldEU Inaugurates First Orbital Launch Site in Europe13 January, 13:40 GMTThe Esrange Space Centre was established in 1964 some 40 kilometres east of the mining town of Kiruna, Norrbotten County. It used for mostly for scientific research with high-altitude balloons, investigation of the aurora borealis, rocket launches, and satellite tracking. Its location some 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle in a vast wilderness is touted as ideally fitted for launching satellites. Over the decades, hundreds of sounding rockets and stratospheric balloons have been launched from Esrange. The space base is surrounded by a large landing area, about twice that of the country of Luxembourg.
- November 27, 2023
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