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On Friday 13th 2023, SSC inaugurated mainland EU’s first orbital launch site: Spaceport Esrange. Before the eyes of the whole world, the ribbon was cut by the Swedish Head of State, King Carl XVI Gustaf, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson. Now begins a new era for Esrange Space Center and Europe with an expected first satellite launch in early 2024.

“This spaceport offers an independent European gateway to space. It is exactly the infrastructure we need, not only to continue to innovate but also to further explore the final frontier. The important work you have been doing here for many years is a shining example of the enormous potential of space-based research to indeed improve our daily life,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

“Only a handful of countries, about 10 countries in the world, have capability to launch satellites into orbit. In this context, Sweden now joins this group of countries and at enters the negotiating table for important questions about how we live our everyday lives here on Earth,“ said Stefan Gardefjord, CEO of SSC, in an interview with Swedish morning TV show Nyhetsmorgon.”

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