Swedish missile crashes in Norway after malfunction

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By Webdesk

The wayward rocket launched from the Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden lands in an uninhabited area of ​​Norway.

A research rocket launched by Sweden Space Corp (SSC) from northern Sweden has malfunctioned and landed 15 km (9.3 mi) in neighboring Norway.

The rocket was part of a research program in which experiments are conducted in zero gravity at 250 km (155 mi) above the Earth. However, the rocket took a “slightly longer and more westerly trajectory than expected,” according to an SSC statement.

The projectile landed in an uninhabited area in Målselv municipality, 40 km (25 mi) northwest of the planned target site in Sweden, on Monday. It was unclear if there was any damage to the surrounding area.

The rocket was a TEXUS-58 and is part of a European initiative commissioned by the European Space Agency.

Researchers said they hope experiments conducted by the rocket will contribute to the transition from fossil fuels to green energy technology and help understand how planets are born.

The rocket was launched from the Esrange Space Center, which is surrounded by a large landing area about twice the size of Luxembourg.

“It landed in the mountains at 1000 meters altitude and 10 km [6.2 miles] from the nearest settlement,” says Philip Ohlsson, head of communications at SSC.

“There is a routine if something goes wrong, and we inform both the Swedish and Norwegian governments and other actors,” he said.

The SCC said the missile was recovered on Tuesday in “good condition” and transported back to the center by helicopter. The cause of the malfunction is being investigated.

“This is an anomaly that we take seriously,” said Marko Kohberg, chief of rocket and balloon operations at Esrange Space Center. “We are now investigating why the missile flew further northwest than usual. It is still too early to speculate on the cause.”

Norwegian officials reacted sharply to the incident, saying they were not informed.

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

In the event of a border violation, those responsible must immediately notify the relevant Norwegian authorities, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the appropriate channels, the spokesperson said.

The ministry had not yet received formal notification of the incident from Swedish authorities, she said.

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