Norwegian rocket incident
The Norwegian rocket incident, also known as the Black Brant scare, occurred on January 25, 1995 when a team of Norwegian and American scientists launched a Black Brant XII four-stage sounding rocket from the Andøya Rocket Range off the northwestern coast of Norway. The rocket carried scientific equipment to study the aurora borealis over Svalbard, and flew on a high northbound trajectory, which included an air corridor that stretches from Minuteman III nuclear missile silos in North Dakota all the way to Moscow, the capital city of Russia. The rocket eventually reached an altitude of 1,453 kilometers (903 mi), resembling a US Navy submarine-launched Trident missile. Fearing a high-altitude nuclear attack that could blind Russian radar, Russian nuclear forces went on high alert, and the "nuclear briefcase" (the Cheget) was taken to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who then had to decide whether to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike against the United States. Russian observers determined that there was no nuclear attack. No retaliation was ordered.
|Date||25 January 1995 (28 years ago)|
|Cause||Launch of a Black Brant XII rocket from the Andøya Rocket Range in Norway.|
|Outcome||Russian nuclear forces put on high alert for approximately eight minutes before standing down.|