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Test facility

Reusability test facility at
Esrange Space Center

Esrange Space Center

Esrange Space Center is a well-established facility that operates since 1966. It is located in the very north of Sweden, above the Arctic Circle (68°N, 21°E), 40 km East from the town Kiruna. The daily activities include Launches of sounding rockets and stratospheric balloons, drop-tests of aerial vehicles, rocket motor tests and flight tests, as well as satellite communications. Inaugurated in January 2023, the newly established orbital launch complex – Spaceport Esrange – will launch satellites to orbit from 2024.

SALTO project EU Funding

The new test facility

It is fair to say, that Spaceport Esrange is not your everyday project. From the infrastructure itself – launch pads, buildings, storage rooms, offices, electricity and water supply – the team has managed thousands of gravel transports, developed advanced rocket communications systems, built new control centers and procedures for a variety of mission types and performed hundreds of flight simulations to ensure safe launches.

Space port_SALTO project

Launch Vehicle integration builing. Here the launchers

are prepared and the payload is installed. Reusable rockets

are cleaned and overhauled.

Rocket propellant depots - The fuels used can

be methane + oxygen and different liquid

hydro- carbon depending on rocket type.

Rocket propellant depots - The fuels used can

be methane + oxygen and different liquid

hydro- carbon depending on rocket type.

Launch pad for the Themis vehicle - 

the pad is 40 by 40 meters.

Geothermal heating - 22 boreholes with

an average depth of 245 meters each.

Launch pad for suborbital

and small orbital rockets.

Test control is at a complex many

kilometers from the launch area.

The launch area is evacuated during

launch due to safety reasons.

Some facts about the
test facility

Approx. 5200 km2

Esrange is surrounded by a 20 km² land area and an impact area of around 5200 km² where rockets can land undisturbed. 

Watch live

Some of the launches from Kiruna (Sweden) are streamed on SSC Youtube channel.

8 seasons

Some people reckon we have four seasons, but the Sámi people have taught us there are actually eight.

Difference of 70oC

Some years the temperature difference between the warmest and coldest temperature can amount to 70oC.

Inauguration of Spaceport

After years of preparation and construction, mainland EU’s first orbital launch complex, Spaceport Esrange, was officially inaugurated on January 13th 2023 by the Swedish Head of State, King Carl XVI Gustaf, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson. The new launch complex has a dedicated testing area for the SALTO hop-test campaigns.

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