Norwegian satellite “lost in space”

satelliteA Russian Soyuz 2.1b rocket carrying Meteor M satellite and additional 18 small satellites, lifts off from the launch pad at the new Vostochny cosmodrome outside the city of Tsiolkovsky, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the city of Blagoveshchensk in the far eastern Amur region, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

There is no contact with a Norwegian satellite that was launched from Russia on Tuesday.

The satellite AISSat-3 was one of 19 satellites, aboard a Sojuz carrier, launched from the Vostosjnij cosmos base east of Siberia.

The Russian spacecraft centre Roscosmos called the launch successful, but then something went wrong.

Roscosmos states that they have not been in contact with the largest of the satellites, a Russian Meteor M 2-1 weather satellite, not the  Norwegian satellite.

“At the moment we cannot get in touch with the satellite,” says project manager Jon Harr at the Norwegian Space Center to NRK.

Not in a hurry
The reason why the satellites are not contactable is because, according to Roscosmos, they are not in the right orbit.

The firing of the last stage of the carrier rocket should have taken place across Antarctica, but it is unclear whether this happened.

Russian carrier rockets have failed several times previously, including at the launch of two European navigation satellites in 2014.

The rocket that brought the satellite out into space was the second launch from the recently opened Vostotsjnij base. It was built to make Russia less dependent on the Bajkonur base in Kazakhstan.

The Norwegian satellite is scheduled to monitor shipping, and the Norwegian Space Center has been responsible for the practical work of the project on behalf of the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

Norway launched its first satellite of this type in 2010, and today’s launch was planned to bring the fifth Norwegian satellite to orbit around the world.

The Coastal Administration has contributed $ 20 million to the satellite itself, says Jon Harr to NRK. In addition, expenses will be associated with the follow-up of the project.

©  NTB Scanpix / Norway Today