The launch of the small rocket Plutnik in 1961 marked the beginning of the Swedish space age. Since then, Sweden has hadan important part of the space industry with satellites such as Viking, Freja, Astrid 1 and 2, Odin, and the recently launched Prisma. The main objective of Prisma is to demonstrate high precision autonomous formation flight in space, introducing a new technology necessary for future European missions.
The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) is a governmental research institute which conducts research and postgraduate education in atmospheric physics, space physics and space technology. Measurements are made in the atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere and around other planets with the help of ground-based equipment (including radar), stratospheric balloons and satellites. IRF was established (as Kiruna Geophysical Observatory) in 1957 and its first satellite instrument was launched in 1968. It has participated with instruments on the Swedish satellites Viking, Freja, Astrid 1, Astrid 2, Munin and Prisma, as well as on many international satellite missions.
Another good example of Swedish space activities is Esrange Space Center which was founded in 1966. With over 40 years of experience and a unique landing environment of 5200 square kilometers in the northern part of Sweden, Esrange offers an exclusive opportunity for atmospheric sciences and micro gravitational research. It is one of the busiest civilian satellite ground stations and over 500 rockets have been launched since the founding. Esrange Space Center is a part of the Swedish Space Corporation, SSC. Sweden is also member of the European Space Agency, ESA, since it was founded in 1972. Sweden even has its own astronaut, Christer Fuglesang who has spent 26 days in space. He has flown two missions to the International Space Station, ISS and with 32 hours of spacewalk he is the most experienced astronaut of ESA.
Hopefully Sweden will continue to contribute to the space industry in the future through the new generation. Join us and help us spread enthusiasm for space!
Young Space Activities Overview in Sweden
Since Sweden is a member of ESA, there are a lot of space related opportunities for the youth in Sweden through ESA. One example is the REXUS/BEXUS programs (rocket- or balloon-borne experiments for university students), which offers students across Europe to carry out scientific and technological experiments. Each year two rockets and two balloons are launched from Esrange Space Center. These programs are realized under an agency agreement between The German Aerospace Center (DLR), SSC and ESA.
There are numerous institutions, universities and observatories in Sweden that offers annual events, lectures, meetings and space related activities for schools. For more information, see the links below.
Country-Specific Events in 2012
Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in Sweden
Groups, People, Institutions
Swedish Space Corporation
Masters program in Space Engineering, Luleå University of Technologly