The company T-Minus Engineering, are developing a sounding rocket type called DART. They successfully launched one such rocket from Esrange on Wednesday, 7 February, from the new LC-3 (Launch Complex 3).
DART is a single-stage suborbital solid fuel rocket that stands at around 3.5 metres tall. It features a booster with a diameter of 118 millimetres and a dart-shaped payload compartment with a diameter of 35 millimetres. It is capable of carrying 0.5 kilogram payloads to an altitude of up to 120 kilometres. While T-Minus has launched DART many times before, it was the first time the company did so in arctic conditions. The temperature on the launch day was -35 degrees Celcius. The rocket was carrying payloads for the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).
LC-3, Spaceport Esrange, was inaugurated in January 2023. The launch area will soon be used for satellite launches and we are expected to host the first hop tests of the ESA Themis reusable booster demonstrator, which is being developed by ArianeGroup.