The sounding rocket Maxus 7 was successfully launched from the Swedish Space Corporation's (SSC) launch facility at Esrange Space Center this morning at 06:16 UT and reached an apogee of 702 km which enabled 12 minutes of microgravity.
Both the technical systems and all five experiments performed as planned. The biological samples were recovered by helicopter within one hour and 25 minutes after launch as expected, as they require to be taken care of very quickly after launch. The scientists are now looking forward to some exciting analysis of the data.
"We are really satisfied that we can perform such a cost efficient alternative for experiments in microgravity, says Dr. Olle Norberg, Head of Esrange. Since the start in 1966 we work together with our German partners when we launch sounding rockets and this has further improved by EuroLaunch, an alliance between DLR Moraba and SSC, said, Dr. Norberg.
"This is yet another proof of excellent team work between all partners involved, says Mr. Andreas Schütte, project manager at EADS Space Transportation. By collaborating we can offer European microgravity flights that are both reliable and independent, an opportunity that is very important these days," Mr. Schütte concludes.
"From the customer's point of view I am very happy with the great success of this flight, says Mr. Wolfgang Herfs, ESA project manager. We know that EuroLaunch (SSC and DLR), Kayser-Threde and EADS Space Transportation are reliable partners and we are glad that with this perfect flight we have provided a convincing argument for the continuation of the Maxus programme for microgravity research, says Mr. Herfs.
The next rocket campaign at Esrange has already started. Texus 43 will be launched on 8 May, providing new experiments with microgravity for approximately 7 minutes.
Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International
Explore further: SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship splashes down in Pacific