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Space The Military

Russia Confirms Failed Missile Launch Caused Norway's Light Show 236

Ch_Omega writes "According to this article over at BarentsObserver, the giant spiral seen on the sky over Norway Wednesday morning local time has been confirmed to be the result of a failed Russian missile launch. Russia now confirms that '...the missile was launched from submerged position in the White Sea by the nuclear submarine Dmitri Donskoy. Studies of the telemetric data from the launch show that the two first stages of the missile functioned as they should, and that a technical malfunctioning occurred during the third stage.' There is also an article on this at The Daily Mail."
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Russia Confirms Failed Missile Launch Caused Norway's Light Show

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  • Back in the day... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:35AM (#30398396) Homepage
    There was once a time that Russia would have just kept schtum. How many UFO reports are due to similar failed firings prior to the end of the Cold War?
  • Testing missiles? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:37AM (#30398404)

    So where was the missile supposed to go?
    Just a test run and then crash into the sea?

  • No Fool (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:45AM (#30398446)

    At first Russia denied it, and then I knew it was true. But now that they've confirmed it, maybe there's more going on here than meets the eye...

  • by Oxford_Comma_Lover ( 1679530 ) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:45AM (#30398448)

    So happy not to be living in the cold war. Today, I like to think it's harder for fictional missiles to start WW3. Fewer false positives. Of course, here the missile was actually launched... []

  • Re:Placement (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday December 11, 2009 @01:08AM (#30398538)

    Worse, Russia doesn't really have a lot of ice-free coastline, especially during the winter. And the few they do have can easily be blocked from the open sea by NATO countries.

    It was one of the big issues during the cold wars, afaik even one of the core reasons for the Vietnam war.

  • Re:Placement (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Friday December 11, 2009 @01:51AM (#30398688) Homepage Journal

    North Vietnam was backed primarily by the Soviets, not the Chinese. In fact, shortly after the end of the Vietnam War, China and Vietnam got into a shooting match over the Vietnamese presence in Cambodia.

    The Soviets needed more warm-water ports, and Vietnam was willing to provide this. This also put a significant portion of the world's shipping lanes within striking distance of Soviet forces. The domino theory may have been an overblown fear, but a significant base of operations in that part of the world is all that the USSR needed to make a serious nuisance in case things heated up.

  • by tbischel ( 862773 ) on Friday December 11, 2009 @02:36AM (#30398838)

    What I want to know is can we hire them for the 4th of july?

  • by Cochonou ( 576531 ) on Friday December 11, 2009 @03:18AM (#30398970) Homepage
    Typhoon class submarines (the Dmitri Donskoi belongs to this class) are not supposed to fire missiles from underwater. They are supposed to break the ice pack to launch their payload. So, this is either a very interesting evolution, or bad reporting.
  • by Loupitour ( 1559257 ) on Friday December 11, 2009 @03:45AM (#30399068)

    as far as I know being able to launch a missile while the sub is submerged would be a huge leap forward in the nuclear arms race.

    This video [] seems to show underwater missile launches have been done for quite a while now...

    In France, all ICBMs are actually SLBM (Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile) since all the land-based missile launchers have been dismantled in the late 90s. [] I don't remember a test ending in a huge spinning spiral though. If this is a secret program, I guess they're doing it wrong...

  • Underwater launches (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jamax ( 228376 ) on Friday December 11, 2009 @03:58AM (#30399126)

    While reading through suprisingly ignorant comments on _new_ tech of launching an ICMB from submerged position (this is slashdot, we are all supposed to be armchair warriors with underdeveloped muscle tissue and oversized brains filled with data on weaponry we would never, ever see unless its on youtube) and replies of ppl putting the record straight I just want to add this little nugget of information here:

    In 199something (don't remember, but it was a crappy year in Russia - lost of bad news, the story got lost and resurfaced only in 2002 I think) Russian submarine has successfully launched ITS ENTIRE PAYLOAD in quick succession (as in several seconds between missiles) from submerged position - quite a feat of technology as well as personel training, since when launching more than one ICBM in quick succession one must take into account subs' weight change after the first missile leaves (it begins to surface), uneven wight distribution as pumps begin to fill ballast tanks with water to compensate just when the second missile fires, actual RECOIL begins to matter too - it's not much of a problem when you fire just once, but it becomes one if the sub's being shaken just as another missile is attmepting its launch..

    So all in all - ICBMS from under water = old news.


  • by Archon-X ( 264195 ) on Friday December 11, 2009 @03:59AM (#30399132)

    Is swirly thing above or below orange?

  • by DrKnark ( 1536431 ) on Friday December 11, 2009 @09:08AM (#30400504)
    Nuking a city would in my mind imply an explosion created by nuclear reactions. The explosion in Chernobyl was created by good old chemical reactions (hydrogren gas).

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein