tech track papers

Categories: 2017, Space Safety and Services

Esrange Space Center – Meeting future needs for advanced space services

The development of reusable space vehicles as well as robotic rovers for space exploration are challenging and expensive projects and thus there is a need for full scale testing to minimize the risk of failures before taking them into operation. Another area with increasing demands is the need for dedicated launch opportunities for small satellites.

In order to meet these needs, SSC’s Center of Excellence, Esrange, is now undergoing a major expansion.  The new capabilities will include services for affordable and easy access to space such as SmallSat Express, a European launch capability for small satellites, tests of reusable vehicles as well as enabling technology tests for space exploration by means of re-entry and landing tests and robotic rover tests in an analogue Moon and Martian environment.

Esrange Space Center is located in the very north of Sweden, above the Arctic Circle (68°N, 21°E) and has access to a vast, inhabited impact area, 5200 km2. Esrange was founded in 1966 by the European organization ESRO, nowadays ESA. SSC has owned and operated Esrange since 1972.

The facility is presently used by the international scientific community, space agencies and commercial customers for launching sounding rockets for microgravity and atmospheric research as well as high altitude balloons for astronomy, atmospheric research and drop tests. Up to date, over 550 sounding rockets and over 520 balloons have been launched. Esrange has a well-equipped infrastructure and experience of launch operations, range and launch safety. Coordinated measurements using satellites, sounding rockets, balloons and/or ground instrumentation is possible and satellite communication is easily accessed by means of SSC’s global satellite ground station network, Universal Space Network (former PrioraNet), where Esrange satellite station is a hub.


Author: Mattias Abrahamsson
Topic: Space Safety and Services

  • Esrange Space Center – Meeting future needs for advanced space services

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