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Authorities in Sweden have retrieved the payload of a research rocket launched from the country’s Esrange Space Center that landed by error in neighboring Norway.
After lifting off Monday morning at 7:20 a.m. local time, the rocket entered a “non-nominal flight path,” taking a longer and more westerly trajectory than calculated, the Swedish Space Corporation said.
It landed 15 kilometers (9 miles) across the Norwegian border — 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of the planned landing site — in a forested area that lies 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) above sea level.
The rocket’s payload was recovered on Tuesday in good condition and transported by helicopter back to the Esrange Space Center in the north of Sweden.
“This is a deviation that we take seriously. We are now investigating the reason why the rocket flew further northwest than (optimal). It is still too early to speculate about the cause, and we await more information from the current investigation,” Marko Kohberg, head of sounding rocket and balloon operations at Esrange Space Center, said in a Tuesday statement.
The TEXUS-58 rocket reached an altitude of 250 kilometers (155 miles) where three experiments were carried out in zero gravity — part of a European program commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA).
The experiments were part of research investigating how planets form and testing materials to improve the efficiency of solar cells and engines.