Tests for ExoMars 2020 and NASA long-duration flights are two exciting missions that are happening at Esrange Space Center this summer. Our Visitor Center next to the gates is open the whole summer, every day at 8-18.
The NASA Balloon Summer Campaign started in May and the first balloon, AESOP-Lite, lifted on May 15. Two more balloons are to be launched; HIWIND and PMC Turbo. We made the first attempt to launch HIWIND on 9 June. Follow the procedure on our @SSC_Rockets Twitter.
The purpose of the mission is to offer significant new opportunities for US and European scientists to fly sophisticated instruments in near space for periods of up to 10 days at very low cost, and this thanks to SSC’s and NASA’s combined resources and experiences.
ExoMars 2020 tests
The European Space Agency (ESA) is planning a Martian lander called ExoMars RSP (Rover and Science Platform) that will be sent to Mars in 2020. A Martian lander is a rover that will land on the planet Mars and travel on Mars to provide a detailed view of the surface and to search for signs of life.
To test and qualify the landing sequence and the Parachute System (PAS) a High Altitude Drop Test (HADT) with two drop test vehicles are to be made, one weighing 800 kg and one 2000 kg, each to be released at an altitude of ca 29 km from a high altitude balloon. The tests will be performed on behalf of Thales-Alenia Space by Vorticity Ltd. SSC will supply high altitude balloons, helium and flight services to support the HADT activities.
SSC have done tests with Vorticity and ESA before, namely SHADT in 2014 and ERC in 2015.
From Darmstadt, Germany, our SSC Engineering Services team also supports ExoMars 2020 with on-site support to the ESOC Flight Control Team.
Image: ExoMars Rover, Credit: ESA/ATG Medialab
Visit Esrange Space Center
You are welcome to visit our Visitor Center outside the gates of Esrange. It is open to the public every day at 8.00-18.00.
At the Visitor Center, which is usually unmanned, spontaneous visitors, as well as invited guests, can get an insight into our business and what is going on behind the Esrange gates.
For security reasons, the area inside the gates is unfortunately not open to the public. However, we can book larger groups on request. Please contact Visit SSC.