Oxygen Species and Thermospheric Airglow in The Earth's Sky

This will be the first rocket mission under the new Swedish national balloon and rocket programme. O-STATES will carry a payload of optical and electrical sensors, for detection of oxygen in its different states, to between 80 and 240 km. This is to extend the understanding of mechanisms in the upper atmosphere and to characterize remote sensing techniques.

The research will be carried out using a two stage rocket (S31 /Improved Orion).

Two identical payloads will be launched in this period into geo-magnetically opposite conditions to study the atmospheric band airglow.

Early morning on October 2 at 05:39 UTC, a successful launch of the O-STATES payload took place from Esrange Space Center. The rocket reached an altitude of 246 km and the impact took place east of the village of Pulsujärvi inside Esrange Impact area. The scientists have received data and are now starting the process of analyzing it.
The recovery begins as soon as the weather permits. The area is currently overcast with poor visibility and snowfall. Before Next launch the payload will be refurbished. The plan is to launch the payload again in about10 days


SSC is contracted for the mission

SSC is in addition providing

  • Project management

  • Service systems

  • Instrumentation integration

  • System integration and testing

  • Launch service (Eurolaunch)

  • Operations

P.I. is Prof. Jörg Gumbel from the Department of Meteorology at Stockholm University (MISU)

The Department of Meteorology at Stockholm University (MISU), Institute of Space Systems at Stuttgart University (IRS) and Technical University Graz (TUG) are providing the scientific instruments.

General information

Launch site Esrange Space Center
Launch date

First launch of payload on
October 2 at 05:39 UTC

Second launch of payload on
October 20 at 14:09 UTC

Funded by SNSB

Technical information

Rocket type S31 / Improved Orion
payload diameter
14 inches


~ 205 kg
Apogee ~ 240 km

Contact person

Krister Sjölander, Project manager, (SSC)

Mark Smith, Project Manager for the launch facilities (SSC)


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