A European Space Agency (search) satellite has broken up in flight and its remnants have crashed into the ocean, a Russian space agency official said Saturday.

Engineers lost contact with the Russian rocket carrying the ESA's CryoSat satellite some two hours after it blasted off from Russia's northern Plesetsk launch facility.

"The remnants of the satellite have fallen into the northern Arctic Sea," Vyacheslav Davydenko (search), a spokesman for the Russian Federal Space Agency, told The Associated Press.

"The booster unit did not switch on and it resulted in the failure of the satellite to reach orbit."