It started in 1966 with sounding rockets

In March 1964, ESRO (European Space Re­search Organisation) was founded by Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Swit­zerland, Spain, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany. The aim was to establish a co-ordinated scientific program for peaceful space research, combined with advanced research for technological development, and to support European industry in the mem­ber countries. Esrange Space Center was built by ESRO and inaugurated in 1966. A great number of rocket projects were executed between November 1966 and June 1972. 

In 1972 SSC took over the ownership

Since July 1, 1972, Esrange Space Center has been managed by SSC. The rocket and balloon activities are co-ordinated and financed by the Esrange Andøya Special Project (EASP) within ESA (European Space Agency). The member states of ESA/EASP are today France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.

Stratospheric balloons activities

In 1974 we completed a launching facility for scientific balloons at Esrange Space Center. This facility has been continuously upgraded to en­able launches of 1,000,000 m3 balloons with payloads weighing up to many tons. The nominal impact point normally chosen is situated 75 km north of the launch pads. The impact area for balloons cov­ers the northern parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Canada and Alaska.

Esrange being built

Photo: Esrange being built, 1966