Esrange Space Center
Esrange Space Center - owned and operated by the Swedish Space Corporation
Esrange, the SSC launch facilitiy, is located north of the Arctic Circle near Kiruna in northern Sweden. Esrange provides systems and capabilities for the launch of sounding rockets and stratospheric balloons. A unique land impact area of 5200 square kilometers offers an economical advantage for recovery and re-flight of experiments.
The Kiruna area offers unique opportunities for space and environmental research. Therefore it is not surprising that sophisticated facilities for space researchers and users of space technology have been established here. Esrange is the center for these operations and has long experience in rocket launching, high-altitude balloons and control and operation of different types of satellites. Through the years, Esrange has evolved into a European center for space research and a world center for ozone research in the northern hemisphere.
Work at Esrange is carried out under contract to research and space organizations, and to companies in Sweden, Europe, the USA, Japan and other countries. The location, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, offers several unique advantages:
- Payloads from sounding rockets have a land touchdown area of 120 x 75 km in size.
- The touchdown area for balloon payloads is a vast land area in the north of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia.
- The location is outstanding for observations of boreal phenomena such as northern lights, noctilucent clouds and mother-of-pearl clouds.
- Polar satellites make 12 to 14 passes daily through Esrange’s coverage area.
- Sounding rockets