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First satellite launch facility of Europe inaugurated

First satellite launch facility of Europe

Spaceport Esrange, the mainland First satellite launch facility of Europe facility, is set to be inaugurated in Sweden, marking a significant milestone for the continent’s space industry.

The spaceport will provide the European Space Agency (ESA) with an independent gateway to space, enhancing its current capabilities in French Guiana. At first, the facility will be used to launch satellites into orbit.

According to data from the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), around 10,000 new satellites are expected to be launched over the next few years. Their total number potentially reaches 100,000 by 2040, a 1,900% increase compared to the operational satellites in orbit today.

In addition to launching satellites, Spaceport Esrange will also host testing of the ESA’s Themis program, which is Europe’s initiative for reusable rocketry.

Themis’ reusable space launcher will undergo first-stage tests, seeking to achieve vehicle liftoff and recovery. Finally, the spaceport will be used for suborbital test launches of various next-generation rockets.

The launch of Spaceport Esrange will not only enhance Europe’s capabilities in space but will also provide business opportunities and attract skilled operators to the sector. This will help to accelerate and grow Europe’s space industry.

Spaceport Esrange is currently seeking partnerships with satellite owners and orbital rocket manufacturers, with the first satellite launch expected in late 2023. CEO of the SSC, Stefan Gardefjord, stated that the facility will enable a “secure, competitive, and sustainable Europe.”

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