Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) have signed a 12 million euros loan agreement for the finalization of a new spaceport at Esrange Space Center in Kiruna, northern Sweden.
The 12-year maturity loan will finance the investments to enable the use of reusable rockets and the ability to launch smallsats into orbit as early as 2022, making Esrange the first major orbital launch site in the EU.
The 12 million euros loan is part of an extensive modernization of Esrange that has been ongoing since 2015 – a total investment of around 50 million euros. The loan will finance the completion of the construction of a new spaceport capability, aiming at a first satellite launch in 2022.
The project entails construction work for the new launch site, including integration halls for rockets and satellites, expansion of planned fuel plants, launch pads and surrounding technical ground systems as well as development of technical support systems in Esrange’s operational communication center.
“This important milestone means that Sweden will become a launching state, offering the most modern ground technology possible to European and international satellite owners. This will be of great importance for future research, technology development and expanded international collaboration – all to support a sustainable development of life on Earth”, said Stefan Gardefjord, CEO of SSC
“With more than 50 years of experience from launching rockets and balloons, Esrange Space Center is already one of the most active and versatile launch sites in the world. And with the new spaceport capability it will most likely become the first launch site on European mainland to provide a platform for space companies to develop their next generation rocket technologies and launch their satellites”, said Philip Påhlsson, Project Manager New Esrange at SSC.