SSC and Firefly Aerospace to Launch Satellites from Esrange
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This news is classified in: Defense Aerospace Communications Space

Jun 28, 2024

SSC and Firefly Aerospace to Launch Satellites from Esrange in Sweden

Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and U.S. space transportation company Firefly Aerospace have signed a collaborative agreement to jointly launch satellites with Firefly’s Alpha rocket from the newly inaugurated spaceport at Esrange Space Center in Sweden, starting in 2026. Together, Firefly and SSC are establishing an orbital launch service in Europe with a flight-proven launch vehicle, supporting commercial, civil, and defense customers.

“We’re pleased to announce this historic collaboration that will have a huge impact on the global launch market, not least in Europe and the U.S.,” said Charlotta Sund, CEO at SSC. “Reducing the current gap of orbital launch sites in Europe, this collaboration strengthens the transatlantic link between Sweden and the U.S. whilst offering unique space capabilities for the Swedish NATO membership. We’re looking forward to releasing this competitive and well-proven launch service at Esrange in northern Europe.”

Owned and operated by SSC, Esrange has been operational since 1966, primarily supporting sounding rocket launches for microgravity and atmospheric research. Newly expanded infrastructure at Esrange now supports satellite launches, making it a significant contribution to filling the demands for orbital launch capabilities in Europe.

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As part of the agreement with SSC, Firefly’s Alpha rocket will launch from Esrange Launch Complex 3C where pad modifications are already underway. With the inaugural Alpha launch scheduled for 2026, the new complex will support commercial customers in the broader European market and enable tactically responsive space missions to further advance national security for NATO countries.

“The future of spaceflight requires more orbital launch sites across the globe as we continue to see growing demand among domestic and international launch customers,” said Bill Weber, CEO at Firefly Aerospace. “Firefly is incredibly humbled to partner with SSC and become the first U.S. company to launch from continental Europe. Together, we’re unlocking a long-awaited capability for the European satellite market, and we invite those waiting to fly with us on our flight-proven Alpha vehicle.”

The new launch service at Esrange will build on the success of Firefly’s orbital Alpha missions from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California and supplement Firefly’s new launch capability at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia. Capable of carrying 1,030 kg to low-Earth orbit, Alpha recently launched a responsive space mission for the U.S. Space Force following a 24-hour notice and continues to serve as a responsive launch vehicle for government and commercial customers.

Firefly Aerospace, Inc
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