Activities at Esrange Space Center 2011 RSS

27 Jan 2011

The year of 2011 will be full of interesting space missions at Esrange Space Center - Swedish Space Corporation’s (SSC) operational base for rocket and balloon launches, testing of new aerospace vehicles as well as control and operations of satellites.

Seven international rocket campaigns

We are looking forward to a very busy year with seven big rocket launches. All flights are performed to obtain scientific measurements within various disciplines.

In February, two student rockets REXUS 9 and 10, are planned to be launched. European university students will fly their own experiments designed and built within their university study programmes. This REXUS programme is funded by the Swedish National Space Board and the German space organization DLR.

PHOCUS, is run by a Swedish team from the Department of Meteorology at Stockholm University, led by Professor Jörg Gumbel. The rocket will be launched this summer with the aim to study the interaction of particles in the atmosphere and their chemical environment. This mission is funded by the Swedish National Space Board.

Four microgravity rockets will be launched during 2011. TEXUS 49 in March/April (funded by DLR), MAPHEUS-3 in May (funded by DLR) and in November MASER 12 (funded by ESA) and TEXUS 48 (funded by ESA and DLR). The provided microgravity time varies between 3 and 7 minutes depending on the rocket motor used.

Five international balloon campaigns

From February to October this year, 19 large balloons will be launched throughout five international balloon campaigns. The campaigns are carried out on behalf of scientists and students from universities and institutes in Europe, Japan and the U.S. Most of the balloon flights have the aim to conduct scientific measurements and others will perform technical flights to develop the launch technique itself. Simultaneous measurements will be performed from our ground based instruments at Esrange Space Center.

One of the scientific balloon flights - PoGoLite - will be circumpolar and fly around the North Pole at an altitude of 40 km. PoGoLite, that will carry a telescope, is a Swedish mission, funded by the Swedish National Space Board and led by Mark Pearce, Professor of Physics at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology. PoGoLite stands for"Polarised Gamma-ray Observer" and the Swedish team is collaborating with science teams from the U.S. and Japan. PoGoLite will open a new window to Universe by measuring the polarization of gamma-rays (photons with very high energies). The research team will study neutron stars, active galactic nuclei and black holes.

Three new satellite missions

Today SSC is handling around 180 satellite passes per day from the three satellite stations located at, or very near, Esrange Space Center. For the coming year, three new satellite missions are planned, which means around forty satellite missions all together.

Most of these satellites have a scientific objective and they are owned by customers from all over the world. SSC provides satellites services such as ground control, routine support and reception of scientific data or satellite images.

To secure the accessibility to the ground communication systems, SSC has installed several new antennas in the last years. At the end of 2011 another three antennas will be in place at the site. In total there will be 25 full motion and 4 limited motion antennas for satellite communications.

SSC also offers reliable solutions for satellite operations world wide. Besides operating the busiest civil ground station in the world at Esrange Space Center, SSC also give customers access to PrioraNet, a global network of ground stations in strategic locations around the world.

For further information please contact

Johanna Bergström-Roos, Information manager at Esrange Space Center, Swedish Space Corporation,
Phone: +46 980 720 24 or +46 705 446 021, E-mail:  

Mats Tyni, Vice President, Satellite Operations Division at Esrange Space Center, Swedish Space Corporation,
Phone: +46 980 721 71 or +46 705 742 177, E-mail:  

Lennart Poromaa, General Manager, Science Services Division at Esrange Space Center, Swedish Space Corporation
Phone: +46 980 720 59 or +46 705 645 477, E-mail:  

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