Esrange Space Center

Excellent facilities in an advantageous location

Since the start in 1966, we have launched more than 500 sounding rockets and 550 stratospheric balloons from Esrange Space Center. In addition we provide the largest civil ground station for satellites in the world and Europe's largest overland test range for aerospace vehicles.


Esrange Space Center is located in northern Sweden above the Arctic Circle at lat. 67° 53'N, long 21° 04'E. The town closest to the range is Sweden's principal mining town Kiruna, which is about half an hour away by car. Access to Kiruna is very good with several daily jet flight connections with Stockholm.
Find us

It started in 1966 with sounding rockets

In March 1964, ESRO (European Space Re­search Organisation) was founded by Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Swit­zerland, Spain, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany. The aim was to establish a co-ordinated scientific programme for peaceful space research, combined with advanced research for technological development, and to support European industry in the mem­ber countries.
Rocket missions

Esrange Space Center was built by ESRO and inaugurated in 1966. A great number of rocket projects were executed between November 1966 and June 1972. 

ESC Impact areaThe rocket impact area is located north of Esrange Space Center in the Swedish tundra region. This area is divided into three zones, A, B, and C, with a total area of 5,600 km².

Zone A, the impact area for boost­ers, can be extended when rockets with long-range boosters are launched. Zones B and C are impact areas for second and third stages as well as pay­loads. Zone C is not allowed for use during the pe­riod May 1 - September 15.
Safety messages

In 1972 SSC took over the ownership

Since July 1 1972, Esrange Space Center has been managed by SSC. The rocket and balloon activities are co-ordinated and financed by the Esrange Andøya Special Project (EASP) within ESA (European Space Agency). The member states of ESA/EASP are today France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.

Stratospheric balloons activities

In 1974 we completed a launching facility for scientific balloons at Esrange Space Center. This facility has been continuously upgraded to en­able launches of 1,000,000 m3 balloons with payloads weighing up to many ton. The nominal impact point normally chosen is situated 75 km north of the launch pads. The impact area for balloons cov­ers the northern parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Canada and Alaska.
Balloon missions

Satellite Management Services

Esrange Satellite Station is the world’s busiest civilian ground station for satellite management services. Since 1978, the station at Esrange plays an important role in a variety of satellite missions. Today we have around 140 daily contacts with satellites in different orbits. Esrange Satellite Station is an important node in PrioraNet, SSC's global network of ground stations.
Esrange Satellite Station
Satellite Management Services

Flight test activities

Since 2001 we have access to Europe's largest overland test range suitable for various tests and operations of aerospace vehicles. This area consists of a combined sites of Vidsel Test Range and Esrange Space Center. With 24,000 km2 restricted airspace and 3,300 km2 restricted ground space we provide this unique vast restricted overland airspace to our customers. The terrain is varying and consists of forests, fields, bogs, lakes, hills and low mountains.
Flight test activities

More information

User's Handbook - Sounding Rocket & Balloon
Esrange Safety Manual
Esrange Launching Programme

Esrange Space Center

Esrange Live-streaming

Follow rocket and balloon launches at Esrange Space Center via Live-streaming, count-down clock and Twitter feed. Updates about upcoming rocket launches can be found at the Twitter feed.