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Technical Malfunction Causes Swedish Research Rocket to Land in Norway

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By Oscar Blair - - 5 Mins Read

Sweden Space Corp (SSC) recently launched a rocket that mistakenly landed in Norway due to a technical malfunction. The research rocket from Sweden was launched from Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden before it experienced a malfunction and then landed some miles between the Sweden and Norway border. Specific details show that the rocket landed 15 km (9.32 miles) inside neighboring Norway. Sweden Rocket research group has already confirmed the incident noting how a technical error caused the accident. The rocket was flying at an altitude of 250 kilometers (155.34 miles) just before the incident happened.  

The Sweden rocket research group said, "Monday morning at 7:20 am local time, a microgravity research rocket was launched from Esrange Space Center in Sweden. The rocket took a slightly longer and more westerly trajectory than calculated and landed after a completed flight 15 kilometers into Norway." the Sweden Space Corp (SSC) noted that the malfunctioned rocket was quite some kilometers away from the planned landing site." The rocket reached an altitude of 250 kilometers, where experiments were carried out in zero gravity. The rocket and its payload landed at an altitude of around 1,000 meters in a mountain range around 40 kilometers northwest of the planned landing site," SSC noted. 

Sweden To Brief Norway About the Situation 

Philip Ohlsson, head of communications at SSC, told Reuters on Tuesday that they were already making preparations to remove the remains of the rocket. According to him, they had already informed the parties that needed to know about what happened. "There are routines in place when things go wrong and we inform both Swedish and Norwegian governments, and other actors," Philip Ohlsson, head of communications at SSC, said. 

The Swedish national flag

While there seems to be no escalation right now, the Norwegian government is still concerned about the infringement of their territory. "The Norwegian authorities take any unauthorized activity on the Norwegian side of the border very seriously," a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. In fact, the spokesperson representing the Norwegian government denies any communication about the blown rocket. When incidents like this happen, the Swedish government is supposed to inform Norway about it and take other necessary steps to bring normality. But the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Norway has denied any communications. 

Sweden Making Moves to Clear Up the Rocket 

There's already ongoing work to ensure the remains of the rocket are recovered. Apart from that, the SSC is also working to pinpoint the cause of the technical malfunction when the rocket was still being used for experiments. At this point, the Sweden Space Corp (SSC) still doesn't know the extent of the damage that occurred after the collapse of the rocket. This would only be ascertained when proper investigations have been done. 

"Work on retrieving the payload is underway and an investigation is being launched to determine the technical details behind the non-nominal flight path. Esrange Space Center is surrounded by a large landing area of about 5,200 km² (about twice the size of Luxembourg)," the agency noted. Speculations are still on about how the event will turn out.