Sweden accidentally fires an experimental rocket at Norway

Swedish scientists had literally one job that they still failed. According to the BBC, Sweden shocked its neighbors on the border on Monday when its experimental rocket accidentally landed on the territory of Norway. 

Experimental rocket. Illustrative Image: Unsplash

Launched on Monday from the Esrange Space Center, a research rocket belonging to the Swedish Space Center landed in the mountains of Norway, and did not return to Sweden as planned. It looked like there was a communication failure during the flight. This incident almost created an international conflict.

In a statement from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Air Force reported that the Swedes did not provide any “official reports” about deviations during the landing of the rocket. Representatives of Sweden claim that they contacted the Norwegian authorities shortly after the incident.

Location of the incident

The Swedish rocket was created with the help of the European Space Agency; it is designed to test microgravity conditions. The rocket successfully launched and reached the target altitude of 250 km, where it successfully conducted experiments. The trajectory of its landing lay in the north-west of the country. As a result of the failure, it deviated from the planned trajectory and fell on the territory of the municipality of Malselv in the northern part of Norway, flying 15 km inland. Fortunately, the rocket landed in a deserted area, and no one was injured, even the payload weighing 387 kg remained unharmed.

Oddly enough, the local authorities of Malselv told regional news services that they were contacted by the Swedes about the erroneous landing of the rocket and asked if it was possible to send a rescue helicopter to pick it up. The payload was allowed to be returned to Esrange. A spokesman for the space center, Marko Kohberg, told the BBC that the institution took the whole matter seriously.

Although it’s too early to tell what really went wrong. But it was very lucky that the incident occurred between friendly countries, and not on the border with Russia hostile to Europe.

Earlier, we reported on how the United States put experimental military satellites into orbit.

Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time