North

Russian rocket that worried Inuit groups launched Saturday, Canada says

A spokesman for the federal public safety department said Sunday the rocket blasted off Saturday morning, and no debris had been observed falling on Canadian territory as of Sunday morning.

No debris had been observed falling on Canadian territory as of Sunday morning

The federal government says a Russian rocket that upset Inuit groups over its potential to pollute Arctic waters with toxic fuel has launched.

A spokesman for the federal public safety department says the rocket blasted off Saturday morning.

Kevin Miller said the government monitored the launch and re-entry of debris closely.

In an email he said no debris had been observed falling on Canadian territory as of Sunday morning.

The Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, tweeted video of a rocket launch Saturday. 

A stage of the Russian satellite-launching rocket was expected to fall into Baffin Bay between Ellesmere Island and Greenland outside Canadian territorial waters, but within seas over which Canada has economic control.

Published reports from experts on the Russian space program suggest it's normal for about 10 per cent of the fuel in the main stage to remain unburned, and an Arctic contaminant specialist at the University of Manitoba says the hydrazine fuel is highly toxic and is known to persist in water.

The launch took place at Plesetsk, a Russian spaceport about 800 kilometres north of Moscow. 

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, also tweeted these photos Saturday. 

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