Esrange Space Center

Excellent facilities in an advantageous location

More than 550 sounding rockets and 520 stratospheric balloons have been launched from Esrange Space Center. This gives the Center a leading position on the world map of launching facilities. In addition we provide the largest civil ground station for satellites in the world.


Esrange Space Center is located in northern Sweden above the Arctic Circle at lat. 67° 53'N, long 21° 04'E. The town closest to the range is Sweden's principal mining town Kiruna, which is about half an hour away by car. Access to Kiruna is very good with several daily jet flight connections with Stockholm.
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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 programme 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. 
Rocket missions

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.
Balloon missions


The assigned missions for Esrange Space Center, regarding sounding rockets and balloons are:

  • Support of the sounding rocket and balloon pro­grammes of the member states of ESA/EASP. Non-members can use the facilities on a second priority basis.
  • Operation of ground based scientific instrumenta­tion.

Impact Area


ESC Impact areaThe rocket impact area is located north of Esrange Space Center in the Swedish tundra region. This area is divided into three zones, A, B, and C, with a total area of 5,600 km².

Zone A, the impact area for boost­ers, can be extended when rockets with long-range boosters are launched. Zones B and C are impact areas for second and third stages as well as pay­loads. Zone C is not allowed for use during the pe­riod May 1 - September 15.
Safety messages


More information:

User's Handbook - Sounding Rocket & Balloon
Esrange Safety Manual
Safety messages
Launching Programme
List of all rocket launches 
List of all balloon launches


Esrange Space Center

Esrange Live-streaming

Follow rocket and balloon launches at Esrange Space Center via Live-streaming, count-down clock and Twitter feed. Updates about upcoming rocket launches can be found at the Twitter feed. Live-streaming is on during launches only.

Science Services-contacts

Lennart Poromaa
Tel. +46 980 720 59

Mattias Abrahamsson
Director, Business Development
Tel +46 980 720 06