ESRANGE is the rocket base of Sweden. Outside Kiruna, above the Arctic Circle, we have access to a large, sparsely populated impact and recovery area, where we have unique opportunities for rocket launches, balloon releases and testing of rockets and rocket parts. That the area is so sparsely populated allows for the safety required for rocket launches and balloon drops, where the payload must come back down to be examined by scientists. ESRANGE also provides its 6,600 km² airspace, one of the largest areas in Europe, for the flight of unmanned aerial vehicles: UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) and drones.
The facility has been in operation since 1966 and is currently used by the international scientific community to launch sounding rockets for microgravity and atmospheric research, as well as stratospheric balloons for astronomical and atmospheric research and drop testing of spacecraft and aircraft. ESRANGE also houses one of the world’s largest civilian satellite ground stations and acts as a hub in our satellite station network.
Development and environment
You, Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), are working to develop SmallSat Express, which from 2022 will launch satellites up to 150 kg from ESRANGE to a sun-synchronous LEO orbit.
SSC also provides support for probe missions. This includes providing complete solutions ranging from using the site only for launches with customer personnel, to providing air tickets on one of the probes launched by SSC.
A new test bed is being built, for the development of requested technology, which includes reusable launch technology for small and large rockets, more environmentally friendly engines, test flights and satellite technology. It will also be possible to use the facility to demonstrate new components for space applications.
Read more: https://sscspace.com/esrange/