The first “vertical satellite launch facility” on mainland Europe has opened near Sweden’s polar region.
The opening of the satellite launch facility called “Esrange Space Port” was attended by Swedish King Carl 16. Gustaf, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Commission members. In his opening speech, EU Commission President von der Leyen said that the EU has set foot in space and will stay there. “Small satellites to be launched from here provide vast benefits,” said von der Leyen, adding that such satellites can monitor environmental phenomena and be used in natural disasters and for security needs. The facility, which is an extension of the Esrange Space Center and was established with an investment of approximately 15 million euros, is planned to complement the European space base in French Guiana. The first satellite from the “spaceport” owned by the Swedish Space Agency is aimed to be launched in the first quarter of 2024. The UK’s first attempt to send a satellite into orbit from its own territory on January 10 failed, thus the first attempt to send a satellite into space from European soil outside of Russia could not be realized.
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