European Space and Sounding Rocket Range
Coordinates: 67 ° 53 ′ 38 " N , 21 ° 6 ′ 25" E
The European Space and Sounding Rocket Range ( Esrange for short ) is a balloon and rocket launch site for sounding rockets near Kiruna in Sweden . Esrange is a purely civilian facility, founded in 1964, which has been operated by the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) since 1972 . Rocket and balloon launches are coordinated by ESA's Esrange Andøya Special Project (EASP) . Member States of ESA / EASP are France , Germany , Switzerland , Norway and Sweden. Esrange is part of the Vidsel test site alongside the Vidsel rocket test site .
The experiments carried out in Esrange include experiments to investigate materials and plant growth in weightlessness as part of the TEXUS project. Stratospheric balloons start there . Esrange is an Earth Station ( TT&C ) for some geostationary satellites such as Tele-X and the Sirius group, and for some polar orbiters such as Odin .
The launch site was built from 1964 to 1966 by the European Space Research Organization (ESRO for short), the predecessor organization of ESA . The first rocket launches took place in 1966. On July 1, 1972, the SSC took over management of the site from ESRO. Initially, mostly British Skylark missiles were used for the test flights . Since these are no longer manufactured, Brazilian VSB-30s have been used since 2004 .
In 2009 and 2013, the helium balloon took off from Esrange and carried the Sunrise solar telescope into the stratosphere in order to observe the sun from there .
Use for space tourism
In 2006, the American company Virgin Galactic signed a contract with the Swedish government to use the launch site for space flights.
- ESA: Esrange and ESA (English)
- Esrange in the Encyclopedia Astronautica (English)
- Article "This is where cress is shot into space", FAZ from February 13, 2008
- Solar telescope BLAST ( B alloon-borne L ARGE A perture S ubmillimeter T elescope) (English)
- ^ Esrange Space Center. (No longer available online.) SSC, archived from the original on April 19, 2013 ; accessed on September 7, 2011 .
- ↑ Peter B. de Selding: Virgin Galactic Strikes Deal with Swedish Government. Space.com, January 28, 2007, accessed September 7, 2011 .