First fully Norwegian space rocket successfully launched from Andøya

rocket NucleusAndøya.Rocket Nucleus.Photo : Nammo / NTB scanpix

Nucleus, the first rocket entirely developed and manufactured in Norway,was successfully launched from the Andøya Space Center on Thursday afternoon.


“I am very relieved, happy, and very proud. This is a big milestone for us’’ said Terje Vesterås of the Nammo program after the launch was found to be a success.

All other rockets sent from Andøya have had foreign engines.The Nucleus missile on Thursday afternoon was sent from the Andøya Space Center,equipped with a Norwegian engine, developed by Nammo at Raufoss.

As the first rocket in Europe, Nucleus is equipped with hybrid engines, which use both liquid and solid fuels.

Lot of wind

The firing was on Thursday due to heavy and unstable winds in the launch area of Andøya.

“The rocket has a relatively low speed at the firing moment, so too much wind could affect the course” said Vesterås before the missile was launched at 14.16.

Nucleus is the result of ten years of research at Nammo. The rocket is 9 meters long and weighs 800 kilos.

Larger rockets

That Nucleus has a hybrid engine gives an advantage in terms of risk and economy.

This means that the rocket, unlike those with only solid fuel, can turn off the engine and also adjust the speed. It also gives less risk associated with handling the rocket.

After the successful launch on Thursday, Nammo plans to build larger rockets than Nucleus, which can deliver satellites less expensively than today.

“Now we will continue to develop this engine so that we can place satellites in the
missile,” said Vesterås.

Ten years of research

The plan for the test shooting was to send the rocket up to a height of over 100 kilometres from the ground. With that, it would cross the boundary of what is space, but the rocket itself is not powerful enough to stay outside the atmosphere, but falls back to the ground.

The rocket was stable and went to 107 kilometres up. Then we were just over the limit of space and it was as far as we hoped it would go’’ said Vesterås.

The entire launch was scheduled to last for 350 seconds.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today