Welcome to Arielspace

This website is dedicated to the Swedish space industry. International space-related business is growing, and Swedish companies are part of this exciting development. I hope that this website can help establish links between Swedish and international companies. 



Swedish Government has decided to invest in a Space Test Bed at Esrange for 80 million swedish crona. (SVT. 2018-07-06)

A first step of the further development of the space center

Sweden invests 80 million Swedish kronor in establishing a test bed for reusable rockets and spacecraft development at Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden; 60 million from the Swedish Government and 20 million from SSC, a state-owned company. The test facility is the first step of the further development of Esrange, defined in the recently published Swedish Space Strategy.

- We look forward to establishing this first European test-range of its kind, with great confidence. It will play an important role in Swedish and European space development, and we are of course very happy to be able to add this service to the Sounding Rockets and Balloon services we deliver today from Esrange, says Lennart Poromaa, site manager at Esrange.

The international space business is developing very quickly. Several government-financed projects in Europe have a great need for the types of tests that can be conducted at the new test bed and thus this investment is not only good for Esrange, but for all space actors, within Europe and elsewhere in the world.




Press release from GomSpace 16th of januari 2018:

GomSpace signs contract for low-inclination launch on Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne. 2019 launch will deploy several nanosatellites for aircraft and ocean vessel tracking constellation


GomSpace has purchased a launch for several nanosatellites onboard a LauncherOne rocket from the California based company Virgin Orbit. The flight, which is bound for a low-inclination orbit, is scheduled to occur in early 2019.

GomSpace will use the launch to further build out a constellation of small satellites that will use Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) signal monitoring to track civilian aircraft and ocean-going vessels. This satellite constellation will provide continuous monitoring between 37 degrees North and 37 degrees South, helping provide global situational awareness for air-traffic controllers and shipping companies, and aiding in the identification and location of wayward or missing planes and ships.

The satellites slated for flight on LauncherOne are based closely on the flight-proven hardware used in the successful GOMX-1 and GOMX-3 missions, and will be designed, manufactured, and commissioned by GomSpace. The constellation will be operated by GomSpace’s Mauritius-based customer, Aerial & Maritime Ltd., once in orbit.

“GomSpace is always happy to take another step forward as a global leader in the nanosatellite community. Virgin Orbit and LauncherOne are a key part of building out our ADS-B and AIS monitoring constellation, which is going to fill a need that is both socially and commercially important,” said GomSpace CEO Niels Buus. “Seeing the great work happening here at Virgin Orbit’s rocket factory today, we are more excited than ever for our flight on LauncherOne.”

Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart added: “GomSpace has already proven that they have an excellent technological solution that works in space. Now, they need to build out the full constellation, and I’m thrilled that our team at Virgin Orbit is playing a key role in that. The ADS-B and AIS tracking that this constellation will provide helps make us here on Earth safer and more efficient, and we think that is an incredibly important mission.”

Virgin Orbit is currently in the process of qualification and test flight for the LauncherOne service, which includes both a two-stage expendable rocket and a fully-reusable air-launch platform. The company has a fully-assembled pathfinder rocket on the test stand in Mojave, CA, and several more in manufacturing and assembly in Long Beach, CA. The system’s 747-400 flying launch pad has begun its flight test campaign. LauncherOne is designed to provide highly responsive, reliable, and affordable flights to Low Earth Orbit to small satellites. The initial flight of the LauncherOne system is targeted for the first half of 2018.



Press release: AAC Microtec purchases Clyde Space.


The Swedish space tech company AAC Microtec AB ("AAC") has today entered into a share sale and purchase agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in UK based Clyde Space Ltd ("Clyde Space") (the "Transaction"), the leading player in the global, high-growth CubeSat market. (2017-12-21)

The acquisition will be paid for with 30 466 326 newly issued shares in AAC and GBP 2 million in cash, equivalent to approximately SEK 294 million (at a share price of 8.90 SEK/share). After completion of the acquisition, Clyde Space owners will hold 49 percent of AAC.

Being a fast-growing forerunner in the "New Space" market, Clyde Space has supplied complete platforms as well as over 2,000 subsystems for small spacecraft. In the CubeSat sector, Clyde Space is a market leader, supporting around 30-40 percent of all current and past missions. For the period Q1-Q3 2017, Clyde Space's revenues amounted to approximately GBP 3.98 million, corresponding to approximately million SEK 45 million. EBITDA for the same period amounted to approximately GBP -0.03 million, corresponding to approximately SEK -0.3 million. The company employs 77 individuals in Glasgow, Scotland.



GomSpace secures new innovation project from Innovation Fund Denmark.
(Pressrelease 2017-09-20)

Today GomSpace A/S - a subsidiary of GomSpace Group AB (the ”Company”) together with Aalborg University and Pri-Dana Electronics A/S signed a contract with the Danish Innovation Fund for the Modular Advanced Radio for Satellite Services (MARS2) project. Under this project the partners will collaborate to develop unique technology, production capability and products to enable high bandwidth communication applications of nanosatellites. Innovation Fund Denmark is supporting the project with 27.000.000 DKK whereof GomSpace’s direct share is 10.000.000 DKK. The project will be executed over a 4 year period.

For more information, please contact:
Niels Buus (CEO)
Tel: +45 40 31 55 57
Email: nbu @ gomspace.com

About Gomspace Group AB

The Company’s business operations are mainly conducted through the wholly-owned Danish subsidiary, GomSpace A/S, with operational office in Aalborg, Denmark. GomSpace is a space company with a mission to be engaged in the global market for space systems and services by introducing new products, i.e. components, platforms and systems based on innovation within professional nanosatellites. The Company is listed on the Nasdaq First North Premier exchange under the ticker GOMX. FNCA Sweden AB is the Company’s Certified Adviser. For more information, please visit our website on www.gomspace.com.



6th of July 2017
PRESS RELEASE

Swedish Space Corporation, (SSC Svenska rymdaktiebolaget AB) has sold 100% of the shares of ECAPS AB, a wholly owned subsidiary of SSC, to Bradford Engineering.

• SSC sells ECAPS AB, a leading manufacturer of space propulsion systems, to Bradford Engineering.
• Solid strategic fit for both parties and industrial logic for combination.

Swedish Space Corporation, (SSC Svenska rymdaktiebolaget AB) has entered into an agreement to sell ECAPS AB to Bradford Engineering.

ECAPS, founded in 2000, is an innovative company with focus on Green Propulsion based products for space applications. ECAPS innovations enables simplified and effective access to space for satellite and launcher systems. ECAPS holds a number of patents worldwide for a family of ADN (Ammonium DiNitramide) based propellants, catalyst, thruster design and manufacturing methods.

Compared to traditional propulsion, High Performance Green Propulsion (HPGP) provides higher specific impulse and higher propellant density, which results in increased performance. The propellant is based on ADN (Ammonium DiNitrimide) and is considerably less toxic, non- carcinogenic and much simpler to handle than hydrazine. The architecture of HPGP propulsion systems consists of COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) components with extensive flight heritage. This enables a simplified transition away from hydrazine, and allows the overall mission cost to be reduced.

In the wake of SSC’s strategy to become a leading global provider of advanced space services, ECAPS has better possibilities to further develop as becoming part of a leading propulsion system provider to continue and strengthen its journey.

“Current exciting industry trends looking for non-toxic propellant solutions, together with a rapidly growing interest in small satellites, yields a unique strategic fit with Bradford Engineering” said Patrick van Put, Technical & Business director of Bradford. Bradford Engineering is a leading high-tech European developer and manufacturer of satellite control sub-systems and components.

“ECAPS AB has delivered groundbreaking innovations and stands on a strong technological foundation. Its development has been a tremendous team effort, led by the CEO Mattias Persson. We are very proud of what the team has achieved and to have been part of ECAPS’ journey. Now ECAPS found a new home, and we look forward to see it continue to develop as part of Bradford Engineering” said Stefan Gardefjord, CEO of SSC Group.
For more information, please contact:

Stefan Gardefjord (CEO SSC)
Tel: +46 8 627 62 00
Email: stefan.gardefjord@sscspace.com



19 Aug 2016
PRESS RELEASE

Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) has entered into a non-binding letter of intent with GomSpace, parent company of GomSpace ApS, regarding the potential sale of 100% of SSC's shares in its Swedish subsidiary NanoSpace AB.

The LOI contains broad terms of a potential transaction with the right for GomSpace to conduct a due diligence investigation and the acquisition is conditional upon both parties entering into a definite agreement containing specific signing and closing terms and conditions yet to be negotiated.

SSC's focus is to be a leading global provider of advanced space services through its core business activities organized in three divisions; Science Services, Satellite Management Services and Engineering Services. SSC is therefore seeking new owners for its fully-owned space technology and product oriented subsidiary NanoSpace.

About Nanospace

NanoSpace is a company that develops and provides propulsion technology and products for satellites, and participates in space technology projects funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), US Space Agency (NASA) and Swedish R&D programs. NanoSpace's propulsion technology and products are based on the company's leading expertise in applying MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) technology to space propulsion – providing unique advantages in miniaturization and precise thrust control.

NanoSpace has developed products based on their own patents since 2005. 2015 was a breakthrough on the market when three of the company's products made their maiden flight in space. The rapidly growing market of micro- and nanosatellites does also match the company's product portfolio. Combining NanoSpace products and technology with GomSpace market presence and customers in 45 countries is an excellent match that will enable continued development and growth for NanoSpace.

About GS Sweden AB

The Company's business operations are conducted through the wholly-owned Danish subsidiary, GomSpace ApS, with operational office in Aalborg, Denmark. GomSpace is a space company with a mission to be engaged in the global market for space systems and services by introducing new products, i.e. components, platforms and systems based on innovation within professional nanosatellites. The Company is listed on the Nasdaq First North Premier exchange under the ticker GOMX. FNCA Sweden AB is the Company's Certified Adviser.

For more information, please visit our website on www.gomspace.com 

For more information, please contact:

Stefan Gardefjord (CEO)
Tel: +46 627 62 10
Email: stefan.gardefjord@sscspace.com



Sweden will have a new space policy. (September 2015)

Sweden can be proud of its highly competitive space industry and strong research communities, respected for both fundamental and applied research. The use of space systems in Sweden has contributed to more efficient public services as well as to an increased number of commercial services.
(Official report of the Swedish Government SOU 2015:75)

The close cooperation between the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB), researchers, industrialists and end users has established a solid ground for Swedish space activities. The long-term view taken by the actors involved may help explain this positive development.

Space activities should to a larger extent support public services that benefit citizens. The proposals presented here suggest that this
should be the driving force for the next phase of space
development. The document emphasises three topics important to achieving this:

 A holistic approach considering numerous aspects of societal
benefits, including closer cooperation between civil and military
needs with respect to defence and security aspects.

 Broader international cooperation to increase benefits from
space activities in Sweden.

 Closer cooperation between government agencies that support research and innovation, with the aim of realising possible synergies from governmental spending.

There has been a trend over the last five to ten years to review
national space strategies, and a number of countries have gone
through this process. This is presumably due to the fact that space activities have matured and the use of space systems has changed as regards to both political and commercial applications. Political changes in certain areas have also had an important impact on foreign affairs and the management of security policies in international relations.

Technical developments and commercialisation have made it
possible for an increased number of states to have their own space systems. The number of users is increasing which means greater dependence on space systems, with the result being greater vulnerability for the societies involved.

Countries want and need to protect their space systems, which inevitably leads to the risk of conflicts. International policies and treaties have to be up to date in order to maintain accessibility to space for everyone. Sweden should review its participation in this work.

The Swedish Government spends about SEK 1.7 billion a year
on space activities through different channels, of which the two
most important are the European Space Agency (ESA) and the
European Union (EU). Sweden has also become more dependent
on space systems.

We therefore propose increased cooperation between the actors and agencies relevant to the development and use of space systems. The Swedish National Space Board (SNSB) should receive a clearer mandate as a space agency with experts on space topics supporting the Government as well as research and technology development.

The Inquiry’s terms of reference stipulate that proposed changes should remain within the current financial framework. We therefore propose that those suggested changes that take a broader view of space activities, including the exploitation of space systems and a space agency about twice the current size, be financed through a redistribution of the existing funds. Increased cooperation is expected to lead to increased efficiency and should not be considered an expense.



RUAG Space Finland is born:
RUAG acquires Patria’s Space Business

Patria and RUAG have announced an agreement for the sale of Patria’s Space unit to become part of RUAG’s Space division. The transaction includes the business operations and assets. The 32 employees currently working in Patria’s Space unit in Tampere will be employed in the newly founded company RUAG Space Finland.
(Press-release from RUAG Group, RUAG Space. 17.12.2014)  

Patria’s Space activities are currently part of the Finnish company’s Systems Business Unit. The key product areas are spacecraft control electronics, electrical power subsystems, electronic units and related test equipment. The company has been very successful and active in various Satellite programs of the European Space Agency, ESA, such as the Earth observation satellites Sentinel-2, Earthcare and Swarm and the Gaia space telescope. Currently on-going for ESA’s solar probe Solar Orbiter, where Patria is responsible for the spacecraft Electrical Power Subsystem, can be seen as a successful continuation from Rosetta power electronics equipment deliveries over the last ten years.

“The acquisition of Patria’s Space unit gives us the opportunity to broaden our technology base and to enhance our product portfolio in the area of Space Electronics. This will help us further improve our position particularly in the commercial satellite market”, explains Urs Breitmeier, CEO of RUAG.”

“Both Patria Space and RUAG Space are world class suppliers of high quality and advanced space equipment and have a good strategic fit. And to offer a better growth basis for space business we see our Space unit has more possibilities to develop further as a part of RUAG Group, where space is defined as a strategic priority”, says Jukka Holkeri, Chief Strategy Officer at Patria.

A new Swedish satellite:

The Swedish space industry used to launch good satellites: Odin, Smart, Prisma and so on. But for some years nothing has happened. But now the Swedish National Space Board has agreed to finance a new satellite.

This is how Space News writes about this in October 27th 2014:

"The Swedish  government has agreed to finance the Construction and launch of a 50-kilogram satellite into low Earth orbit to conduct optical studies of mesospheric gases for two years, the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB) said October 22nd.

The MATS-satellite (MATS = Mesospheric Airglow/Aerosol Tomography and Spectroscopy) has been allocated 120 million Swedish Crona (16.7 million dollars) in funding, with a launch planned around 2017. The 50-kilogram MATS will use optical instruments to study luminiscent phenomena occuring, especially in the summer months, at altitudes of 80-100 kilometers.

The satellite will operate at about 600 kilometers in orbit. The two-year operating life will permit MATS to study two full summers in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

SNSB approved the Project following a detailed project study by OHB Sweden, Stockholm University´s Departement of Meteorolog, Omnisys Instruments and AAC Microtec.

MATS will use a new platform, called InnoSat, that borrows from the Mango platform used for one of the two satellites comprising Sweden´s Prisma formation-flying mission."


OHB Sweden.

In 2011 the Swedish Space Corporation sold the satellite division to OHB. It is now the company OHB Sweden. Since january 2014 OHB Sweden is based in a newly commissioned headquarters and manufactoring facility located in Kista, in Stockholm´s technology district. (22 of June 2014)


The entrance on Visitors Day.

The new facility has been designed to enable high capacity with efficiency (according to the company). A central large manufacturing facility is surrounded by various laboratories and complimentary functional areas. 

The company arranged a Visitors Day 18th of June 2014. OHB Sweden  invited guests from space companies, the military, universities and the press to be informed of the new facilities. Special guest was the swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang.
 

The CEO of OHB Sweden, Gierth Olsson, and astronaut Christer Fuglesang.

OHB Sweden, a member of the OHB AG Group, is a Swedish provider of space systems. The OHB Group currently employs over 2.500 people in its "Space Systems" and Aerospace and Industrial Products" business units. Within this array, OHB Sweden AB belongs in the Space Systems and develops, builds, tests and operates satellites for different kinds of space missions within communications, Earth observation, space research and exploration.

Read more about the company OHB Sweden. Link to that page!


I have recently learned that the company Telewide is going into bankruptcy. (2013-01-20)

TELEWIDE
is a swedish innovation company developing a new technology for microwave antennas. The technology is patented in several countries like USA and Canada. 

           
ECAPS signs first U.S. commercial contract with Skybox Imaging for complete propulsion system.
(Source: Skybox Imaging. Posted January 20, 2013) 
 
- ECAPS, an SSC Group company, today announced its first commercial flight contract in the U.S., with Skybox Imaging (Skybox), an emerging provider of timely imagery services. ECAPS will design and manufacture a complete High Performance Green Propulsion (HPGP) system for Skybox's third Earth observation satellite.

"This initial HPGP system will serve to qualify the system design for subsequent Skybox satellites," said Mathias Persson, President of ECAPS. "We are proud to partner with Skybox and look forward to supplying them with both this initial system, as well as propulsion systems for their future constellation of satellites."

ECAPS' flight-proven HPGP technology, which utilizes the Ammonium Dinitramide (ADN)-based monopropellant designated LMP-103S, is environmentally benign and significantly easier to both transport and handle than monopropellant hydrazine. These favorable characteristics provide increased flexibility to spacecraft manufacturers whose mission concepts require the ability to launch from various sites around the world. In addition, HPGP has demonstrated higher on-orbit performance than traditional hydrazine systems.

"ECAPS' HPGP propulsion system will provide our spacecraft nearly twice the on-orbit delta-V of the more traditional monopropellant systems. This level of performance will give our constellation of small satellites significant mission flexibility, enabling us to provide higher quality, more timely data to our customers," said Jonny Dyer, Chief Engineer of Skybox. "Early adoption of green propellants is well aligned with our innovative, environmentally responsible culture and this contract makes us the first company in the U.S. to leverage this technology. In addition, the handling and safety advantages of the HPGP system provide us the lowest projected life cycle cost of the technologies we analyzed."

The contract marks the beginning of a long-term partnership between Skybox and ECAPS to develop propulsion systems for Skybox's constellation of Earth observation satellites. ATK, ECAPS' industrial partner in the U.S., is also a key supplier for the project, with content to include the development of propellant tanks at its Commerce, Calif., facility and the capability to assemble HPGP systems for future Skybox constellation builds at its Beltsville, Md. facility. ATK also provides the ability to blend HPGP propellant at its facility in Elkton, Md.  

           
What did I learn at the space conference Space Ops 2012?            
Part I.
(2012-09-28)

The first really big space conference in Sweden in many years was held in June 2012. I listened to so many speeches, met so many people that it was impossible for me to write about everything at the time. Here is a text about China´s National Space Science Center and the new chinese satellites.

When lunch was served the first day of the conference I happened to eat at the same table as three young scientists from China. We talked a bit about the conference and about swedish food. Strangly enough I forgot to ask them about their work. The last day of the conference I wanted to interview them, but it turned out that they had instructions not to talk to the press during the conference.

But...I was handed a very interesting broschyr. I have now read it and I have had a look at the web-site of the Chinese Academy of Science.
             
This is what I learned:

National Space Science Center (NSSC)

The new space center was officially launched at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in July 7, 2011.

The newly established center is fully build up on the current Center for Space Science and Applied Research (CSSAR), but has new duties. The most important duty is to carry out a so called strategic pioneer project – space science.

The Space Science Project includes development of five space science satellites, select and support several new mission studies before the engineering phase, support a number of long term enabling technology studies for future missions and finally leading future strategic study for space science in China. Those studies have never been supported by other national programs, therefore it is a truly national program and the budget of it is directly from the central government. 

            You can read more about NSSC here.

Five chinese space science satellites planned for 2011-2016.

Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope: 
- Observe  diffuse background and cosmic variance.
- Discover highly obscured supermassive BHs.

Quantum Communication Test Satellite
-Accomplish for the first time satellite-to-ground absolutely secure communication with the core of quantum key
-carry out the first time satellite-to-ground quantum entanglement distribution and Bell inequality in the world
-investigate possibility of achieving satellite-to-ground quantum teleportation experiment
-establish wide-area quantum communication network

Dark Matter Particle Detection Satellite
-Look for the dark matter particles through the high resolution observation of the high energy electrons and gamma ray.
-Studying the origin of the cosmic ray, as well as its spread and acceleration mechanism by measuring the energy spectrum of high energy electrons and heavy ions.

Microgravity Experiment Retrievable Satellite
-Expected to make breakthroughs in the basic laws of the motion for matter, biology gene expression, efficient drug development and efficient combustion of coal.

KUAFU
To observe the complete chain of disturbance from the solar athmosphere to the geo-space: Solar flares, interplanetary clouds, shock waves, geo-effectiveness (such as sub-storms and magnetic storms, aurora activities.

Four more satellites are chosen for Phase A study and launch after 2018.


AB Volvo divests the Group’s subsidiary Volvo Aero to the global engineering company GKN for an enterprise value of SEK 6.9 billion. (Pressrelease from Volvo. 5th of July 2012.)
 
 “GKN is a strong new owner for Volvo Aero,” says Volvo’s CEO Olof Persson. “GKN will provide Volvo Aero with the best possible conditions for continued advancement in its industry.”

At the end of November 2011 – in a step toward further refinement of the Volvo Group’s focus on heavy commercial vehicles – AB Volvo initiated a process to examine the possibility of finding a new owner for Volvo Aero. A basic premise for the divestment of Volvo Aero has always been that the new owner must be able to offer Volvo Aero a structure to enhance the company’s conditions for advancement in its industry.

AB Volvo has since carried out discussions with a number of potential buyers.
“Volvo Aero has attracted considerable interest, but in our opinion, GKN can offer the best conditions for Volvo Aero’s future advancement,” says Olof Persson. “This transaction will improve our chances to further refine and develop our core business in commercial vehicles, while providing Volvo Aero with an owner that has both the drive and the capacity to advance and strengthen the company.”

The transaction is scheduled for completion during the third quarter of 2012.

GKN plc is a global engineering company serving the automotive, aerospace and land systems markets. Based in Great Britain it has operations in more than 30 countries and around 45,000 employees in subsidiaries and joint ventures. In 2011, GKN saw sales of £6.1bn, of which £1.5bn was accounted for by GKN Aerospace.   
         


291 presentations!

Today I present photos from a few of all the presentations at SpaceOps 2012. (2012-06-21)    

Go to SpaceOps 2012.  

  
Gentry Lee from NASA is telling us - among other things - about the coming mission to Mars - Mars Science Laboratory. (I will write more about this very interesting and funny presentation later)
   


SpaceOps 2012           

           
The conference-center Waterfront is very new. SpaceOps booked this center when it was still beeing built. 


At the conference you could listen to 291 presentations. Here you can read about two of them. (2012-06-18)

           


United Launch Alliance is rebuilding its rocket Atlas V so that it can be used to launch spaceships built by Boeing, Blue Origin and Sierra Nevada.

           
           
The space-craft Dawn has orbited the asteroid Vesta for almost a year and in august it will be sent on to the asteroid Ceres.

Read about the presentations on the page SpaceOps 2012.



The King´s Speech:

At SpaceOps 2012 the Swedish King held the opening speech: 

It begins:

"Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I wish to welcome you to Sweden and Stockholm.

You have come from many different parts of the world, and you are all, more or less, engaged in the work with spacecraft missions.

The work you do is important and vital for our daily lives in terms of communication, navigation and infrastructure. Satellites are also essential tools in climate and environment research."

Read the rest of the speech at the Royal Swedish website! 


The King of Sweden visiting SpaceOps 2012.      
             
          



Click here and find photos of some of the exhibitors at SpaceOps 2012.   


SpaceOps. Wednesday 13th of June.
Maybe you can see yourself in some of the photos.
Go to People at SpaceOps 2012 Monday or Wednesday.

                       Monday  

                      Wednesday                                 

 


International space conference in Stockholm 11-15th of June.

 (2012-06-11)        


The King of Sweden opened the conference.



You can read about the space conference on the page
SpaceOps 2012.

 


The Swedish Space Corporation may be successful in USA.

In the magazine Aviation Week & Space Technology, senior editor Frank Morring writes 7th of May about foreign space companies in USA. Here you can read about the The Swedish Space Corporation. If you want to read about example number two, the new rocket Liberty built by ATK and Astrium, you can go to aviationweek.com.          (2012, May 19th)

Cubesats are the ultimate in miniature spacecraft, tiny orbiters that can be launched by the dozen as piggyback payloads at prices that bring them within reach of undergraduate engineering classes and even high schools. But when they run out of power, they are really just space debris. Now NASA is looking for ways to bring them back into the atmosphere before they smash into more valuable spacecraft.

The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC)

believes it has an answer, and it is following a trend in trying to globalize its technology by selling it in USA which is the biggest space market in the world. As the name suggests, SSC is one of the crown jewels in Sweden´s space-technology industry. Based in a Stockholm suburb, the company and its subsidiaries have built world-class satellites for the European Space Agency and developed niche technologies that could play right into NASA:s search.

SSC´s NanoSpace unit has developed miniaturized spacecraft thrusters using Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) fabrication technology. The tiny thruster systems have been partially validated in space, on the Prisma satellites that also proved out the non-hypergolic green propellant developed by another SSC subsidiary. They would seem to be a logical line of pursuit for NASA, which posted a request for information on its procurement website April 23 on ways to hold the risk of collisions between spent cubesats and other orbiting objects to less than 1 in 1.000.

“NanoSpace is indeed interested but needs to partner with a U.S. company or institution to be able to respond,” says SSC Executive Anne Ytterskog. The Swedish company is a subcontractor on NASA`s call for green alternatives to hydrazine and other toxic hypergolic propellants for spacecraft.

SSC`s Ecological Advanced Propulsion Systems (Ecaps) division has partnered with a U.S. prime to propose the ammonium dinitramide-based propellant LMP-103S that it validated in tests on the Prisma mission.

“There are a lot of barriers that we need to overcome,” Stefan Gardefjord, SSC´s new president and CEO, told Aviation Week at the recent National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

Beyond heritage and financial barriers, the Ecaps unit will also have to deal with U.S. federal regulations on doing business with foreign space companies. NASA stipulates that while it welcomes foreign technology, it will not fund off-shore research and will select non-U.S. companies only if a “no-exchange-of-funds” agreement can be reached. Partnering with U.S. companies is a way around that prohibition, and it is followed by overseas companies trying to market space technologies in the U.S. government marketplace.
  

Read more about the cooperation between Ecaps and an american company.

 


To put it simple you could say that the Swedish Space Industry consists of three big companies and many small. (2012-04-29)

The three big companies.

Volvo builds trucks, but also owns a company in the aviation business: Volvo Aero. Volvo Aero has for many years constructed parts for the engine used in Ariane. Volvo is now looking for a buyer of Volvo Aero. Volvo is a big company with only a fraction of its production in the space business.

RUAG Space used to be part of the aviation and military business at Saab. A few years ago the space company was sold to RUAG, which is owned by the government of Austria. RUAG Space spezialises in computers, antennas and separators.

SSC, short for Swedish Space Corporation, is owned by the Swedish government. It has a great advantage in owning a spaceport, Esrange, in the north of Sweden. There it is launching sounding rockets and huge balloons, and receiving signals from satellites. For many years, until last year, SSC was building satellites, but that part of the company was sold to OHB of Germany.

Sweden is too small?

It seems like Sweden is too small. The big space activities are sold abroad. That can be seen also when we look at two other successful companies. The telecom-company SES Sirius is only partly Swedish and the satellite-telephone company SweDish was sold to USA.

The small companies.

But there are many small space companies in Sweden and the number is streadily growing. These are some of the middle size companies: Carmenta, Omnisys, Gaisler, Jirotex, Sweco and Aacmicrotec.
And these are small: A.C.R. Electronic, Spacemetric, Forsway, C2SAT, Polymer, Telewide, YoYo, Umbilical. 

The governmental space programme is administrated by The Swedish National Space Board. 

 


          
SpaceOps 2012: Big space conference in Stockholm.
The King of Sweden participates in opening ceremony.
 

The swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang, the world-famous wild-life photographer Mattias Klum and Swedish space-pioneer Sven Grahn will deliver speeches. Representatives from all major space agencys in the world will attend.  
(April 5th 2012)    

           

The biggest international space conference ever held in Sweden kicks off June 11th this year and will last for five days. The organization SpaceOps has organized this conference every other year in different parts of the world since the early 90's. SpaceOps brings together the world's major players in the field "operation of spacecrafts." The location of the event is the Conference Center Waterfront in Stockholm.

Chairman of the Swedish Organizing Committee is Annika Benson at Swedish Space Corporation (SSC). Arielspace met her and talked about the conference.

Between 11th and 15th of June, representatives of a number of space agencies, space companies, universities and military organizations gather to communicate with each other and listen to lectures on space activities. The conference is organized by SSC (former Rymdbolaget) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The initiative comes from The International Committee on Technical Interchange for Space Mission Operations and Ground Data Systems, abbreviated SpaceOps.

The purpose of the conference is to discuss the operation of different systems (ie, not the production of spacecraft). In previous years the focus has been on the operation of satellites, but new this year is that they also will be talking about rockets and research balloons.

Each morning the delegates will be able to participate in a large plenary session. The rest of the time, 8 parallel series of lectures will be held. They will cover the following themes:

Mission Execution
Data and Communications System Facilities
Mission Design and Mission Management
Training and Knowledge Transfer
Cross Support, Interoperability and Standards
Commercial Space Operations
Launcher, Rockets and Balloon Operations
University Space Operations

One of these topics interests me more than the others: Commercial Space Operations. Details of this series of lectures has not been published yet but they will cover:

Spacecraft operations
Ground operations
Private public partnerships
Commercial orbital transportation services
Commercial crew development
Space tourism

Annika Benson says that international interest in the conference has been great. There will be 600 participants and 80% of exhibition space is already taken. The organizers have a number of sponsors but they hope to get more sponsors interested. A sponsor can help fund a specific event, such as a lunch, and then have an opportunity to communicate what they do to this important and large group of people in the space industry. 

The task of organizing this year's conference went to SSC and The German Aerospace Center. Annika Benson says that they received the go-ahead as early as 2009 to organize the 2012 conference. SSC booked the newly built Stockholm Waterfront before the house was completed! She explained to me how the organizing committee walked around the building site and looked around, with helmets on!
 
It is a major task to organize such a large conference, even if the task were divided between SSC, The German Aerospace Center and the eventcompany Congrex. Annika Benson will be like a commander in chief throughout the conference, ready to tackle any unexpected problems!
 
About 500 lectures were received for the conference and 300 of them have been selected to be in SpaceOps 2012. There will be 50 poster exhibitors and 20 so-called e-poster exhibitors.
           

Participants can take part in some social events in the evenings, such as a "gala dinner" at the Vasa Museum June 14. The weekend after the conference, participants who are interested can travel to Kiruna in northern Sweden, get a guided tour of Esrange, visit a Same village and LKAB's mine and get information about the Ice Hotel.

Fee for participation in the conference was 5500 SEK for those who signed up before March 15th and is 7000 SEK until June 1. If you just want to drop in on SpaceOps it costs 8000 SEK. The trip to Kiruna cost 5900 SEK.

Read more at the web-site of the conferense: SpaceOps 2012             

 


I saw Sputnik when I was 4 years old. (2012-03-23)

This is my memories of Sputnik, the little football-sized satellite with antennas sticking out that the Soviet Union sent out into space in 1957. Sputnik launched the space era. And I saw Sputnik ... or did I?

One never gets to keep believing in their illusions. But I got to keep believing in this illusion for decades. This is a very personal story about Sputnik. 
 
I was four years old and my dad told me that I could stay up later than usual one night because we were going out to watch a Sputnik. I didn’t know what a Sputnik was and it made me a little nervous. When it got dark, and my little sister was sleeping my father, mother and I went outside our house. We lived in an apartment block and outside our house stood many adults looking towards the sky. It was a starry night. It was cold.

We stood there waited. And waited. My dad got the idea that we would go around the house and stand on the sidewalk in order to scout the other way. It all felt more and more eerie. I began to feel a real fear of the Sputnik that was suppose to show up in the sky. What was a Sputnik? What would happen?


Finally I was so scared that I wanted to go inside. "Go inside then, we will come in soon," said my mother. I went back around the house. But before I got into the house, someone called out to me, "Ariel, look up! There is Sputniken!" I looked up at the starry sky. There, there! A small bright dot moving across the sky. It looked like one of the stars moved. The bright dot traveled quickly across the night sky and then it was gone.

A few years later I found out that the year had been 1957 and that Sputnik was a Russian satellite, in fact, the world's first satellite. I was a part of the space era from the very beginning.

But it was all an illusion. In 2002, I interviewed former information manager Sven Grahn at the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC). According to him, Sputnik was too small for me to see from earth. What we saw outside our house in 1957 was the last rocket stage of the launch. The rocket stage also went into orbit and was large enough to be able to reflect the sun and become visible from earth.

Somehow it sounds better to say that I saw the first satellite than to say that I saw the last rocket stage from the first satellite launch.

 



Space Forum in Kiruna, November 21 – November 23

Space Forum Sweden is an organization with the purpose to advocate increase of the Swedish space activity. Every other year a conference called Space Forum is arranged. (2011)

Kiruna, November 21

I arrived in Kiruna at 5:00 pm on November 21 to attend the conference Space Forum 2011 which would go on for three days and was held at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics. It was very dark when I arrived since Kiruna is situated in northern Sweden where the sun only appears a few hours a day, and sometimes not at all, in the winter. However, there was only a thin layer of snow on the ground which is rare in Kiruna in November.

The main topic of conversation on the first day of the conference and in the space industry this day was that Volvo announced that it would sell its subsidiary company Volvo Aero, which is partly involved in space activity.

In the press release from the Volvo Group it is said:
"As a step in further streamlining the Volvo Group towards heavy commercial vehicles, AB Volvo has initiated a process aimed at divesting Volvo Aero."

Kiruna, November 22

At the Swedish Institute of Space Physics the second day of Space Forum 2011, November 22, began with Mr. Martin Kores from the company Omnisys speaking about the document “The Space Agenda”. The document will be used to advocate increased space activities in Sweden. Many of the largest space companies and also certain interest groups within the business community are endorsing The Space Agenda (In Swedish: Rymdagendan).

Airplanes and the weather.

Bengt Nilsson from the company AVTECH talked about how aircrafts navigates. There are several different systems in every airplane, but GPS is not yet sufficiently advanced so that it can constitute the main system. GPS is only a complementary.

Maria Nilsson from the Swedish governmental space agency (Swedish National Space Board) spoke about remote sensing and revealed fascinating satellite photographs of the Earth’s surface. Anki Thoss from The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) talked about how satellite imagery clearly shows the great climatic changes now talking place because of human impact on the atmosphere. SMHI is the largest users of satellite imagery in Sweden, followed by The Swedish Forest Agency, The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and so on.

Foreign Policy and military satellites.
 
This was followed by two lectures on foreign policy/military information. There are new realities of military information and security regarding satellites now with the cold war in our past.


Here is a link to
pictures from the conference.


Innovations and galaxies.

After lunch, representatives from Volvo Aero, ÅAC MicroTec and RUAG Space spoke about the innovations in the space sector that these companies have come up with.

Then followed a series of lectures on general space knowledge, in which my favorite was the astronomer Carina Persson from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. Among other things she talked about the overwhelming feeling one gets from seeing pictures of nebulae and galaxies, which leads us to ponder the question; how is it possible that anything exists at all?

Teaching about space

The last two lectures on the second day brought us back down to earth. Anna Rathsman from SSC, representatives from the Luleå University of Technology, and the upper secondary school that specializes in space told us about the space activities in Kiruna. We also received information about a new network to generate interest among scientists to enhance Swedish participation in the exploration of planets, moons, meteors, etc. The network is called Planetary Exploration Center.

Spaceport Sweden, Mojave och Dryden.

The most spectacular lectures had been saved for last. It was three lectures in english namned Development of the Commercial human spaceflight industry. Karin Nilsdotter, CEO of Spaceport Sweden told us news from the establishment of commercial space activities in Kiruna. The main aim is to pursue space tourism with Virgin Galactic  but there are also many other ideas for different activities complementing space tourism or related activities.

Stuart Witt, head of Mojave Air & Space Port in Southern California. He is a former military test pilot, but have knowledge and experience from many other areas. He showed a film from the facility and then spoke enthusiastically about privately founded space flight. There is an energetic pioneer spirit at the Mojave Port with many companies that are experimenting with new spaceship constructions. Spaceship One flew from there.

The last speaker of the day, on the second day of Space Forum 2011 was a guest from NASA. David McBride is the director of one of NASA’s ten science centers, The Dryden Flight Research Center, located at the famous Edward Air Force Base. It can be seen as a governmental equivalent of the Mojave Base, where experiments are executed with new aircraft types. One could argue that the history of manned space travel began at the Edward Base where they conducted experiments with rocket planes in the 50’s. It was planes that were practically rockets! It did not go well. NASA focused instead on the launchers and space craft’s such as the Mercury capsule that John Glenn flew with.

Kiruna, November 23

We want more space.

On the third and last day we discussed the document The Space Agenda and proposed activities that would communicate to the politicians and the public how important it is that Sweden increases its space activities. Greater support from politicians in budgets and decisions and a more positive view of space activities among the public is desired.

In the afternoon of November 23 I took the plane back home to Stockholm after a very interesting Space Forum and looking forward to the next one in 2013.

 


Volvo Aero, manufacturer of aerospace components, among them space propulsion sub-systems, is up for sale.

"As a step in further streamlining the Volvo Group towards heavy commercial vehicles, AB Volvo has initiated a process aimed at divesting Volvo Aero."
(Press release from Volvo Group. November 21, 2011)
 
“One of the prerequisites for a transaction being implemented is that a divestment could enable Volvo Aero to enter into a structure that would enhance the company’s opportunities for further development in its sector,” says Volvo CEO Olof Persson. “Another requirement is that we are paid a reasonable price. We are currently conducting talks with a number of potential buyers, but these are still at an early stage and no definite decisions have been made.

Volvo Aero is today a leading manufacturer of aerospace components and its products are found in more than 90% of the world’s large civil aircraft.

Since streamlining towards commercial vehicles was initiated by the Volvo Group at the end of the 1990s, in conjunction with the divestment of Volvo Car Corporation, the Group has expanded to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy duty trucks, buses, construction equipment, industrial and marine engines and heavy duty diesel engines.  



NASA, Sweden Partner on Small Spacecraft Technology Development. 

NASA and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB) are collaborating to develop powerful low-cost satellites for advanced space missions. (From the website of Microtec. 4th of September 2011) 

Miniaturization is a recent trend in space exploration, as smaller and smaller spacecraft demonstrate that they can do things that once required enormous and expensive spacecraft. NASA is interested in determining the feasibility of small spacecraft doing the work of large ones, either by themselves or in spacecraft constellations.

The partnership harnesses the experience of AAC Microtec, a miniaturized multifunctional electronics systems developer, Uppsala, Sweden, in designing and building miniature Space Plug-and-Play Avionics compatible spacecraft buses and NASA's Ames Research Center's, Moffett Field, Calif., expertise in advanced scientific applications.

The Swedish National Space Board is funding AAC Microtec´s development of a miniature Space Plug-and-Play Avionics (SPA) compatible platform, including interfaces, onboard computers, and power subsystems. The platform will be tested at Ames in June 2012. The Swedish platform is being developed jointly with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicle Directorate, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as part of an international effort to provide operational responsiveness.

The United States and Sweden have been collaborating in space for decades; early cooperation involved studies of the sun's effects on Earth's magnetic field; as well as sounding rocket and high altitude balloon experiments. This collaboration holds the promise of expanding what the two countries may accomplish together in space.

For more information about NASA Ames, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ames/  

For more information about the Swedish National Space Board, visit: 

http://www.snsb.se/

For further information:
Mats Magnell, CEO ÅAC Microtec AB
Phone: +46 707 519 234
Johan Bäckström, Sales Executive ÅAC Microtec AB
Phone: +46 70 673 6755

About the company:

ÅAC Microtec develops, manufactures and markets miniaturized and robust multifunctional electronics systems. By combining the best suitable packaging techniques ÅAC offer solutions based on state-of-the art microelectronics and MEMS technology, and services for optimal life cycle performance. ÅAC Microtec was founded in 2005 as a spin-off from Uppsala University’s Ångström Laboratory.         

 


"Green" propulsion from Sweden.

More than a year of in-space testing has demonstrated a non-toxic "green" thruster technology developed in Sweden is spaceworthy, with better head-to-head performance than hydrazine.
(Aviation Week & Space Technology. 15th of August 2011)

The system, developed by Ecaps, subsidiary of Swedish Space Corporation, has demonstrated performance in steady-state, single-pulse and pulse-mode firings on the Mango satellite - part of the two-satellite Prisma technology-development mission - that is 8 % better on average than the monopropellant  hydrazine system on the same spacecraft, according to a paper presented in August 2011 at the Conference on the Small Satellites in Logan, Utah. The propellant is a mix of ammonium dinitramide, water, methanol and ammonia.
 


OHB Buys SSC’s Space Systems Division

Fast-growing satellite and rocket hardware manufacturer OHB of Germany, which already has operations in Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg, has established a foothold in Sweden with the purchase of the Space Systems division of SSC, officials with the companies said.
(Space News. 24 June 2011)

The transaction, described as an asset deal in which OHB assumes the risks of the Space Systems division’s future performance, was concluded for a symbolic price of 1 Swedish krona, or about 15 U.S. cents, according to two officials.

The Space Systems division has reported revenue of about 10 million euros ($14 million) per year in recent years and counts 53 employees who will remain where they are and will be organized under the name of OHB Sweden, OHB Chief Executive Marco R. Fuchs said June 23.

In an interview, Fuchs said OHB hopes to take advantage of any increase in Swedish government space spending in the coming years. Sweden’s space budget is not increasing now, and SSC — 100 percent government-owned but operated as a profit-making enterprise — had been trying to sell the Space Systems division for about a year.

The Space Systems division includes SSC’s work as a subcontractor on the OHB-led Small-Geo satellite platform, which is being financed by the 19-nation European Space Agency (ESA). Fuchs said OHB wanted to consolidate the Small-Geo contracting team and that a purchase of the Swedish team by a larger company might have meant relocating it or shutting it down.

In a June 20 statement, OHB said SSC has “an essential share in the development and construction of the [Small-Geo] platform, which is of material importance to the OHB Group.”

In a transaction that had similar motivations, OHB recently purchased the Belgian operations of Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy when the Franco-Italian manufacturer decided that the Belgian operation was too small to be retained on its own.

Under ESA’s geographic-return rules, each nation contributing to an ESA program is promised that most of its contribution will return in the form of contracts to its national industry. The new OHB Sweden thus stands to gain with any increase in Swedish space spending.

SSC Chief Executive Lars Persson said June 22 that SSC is glad the transfer of ownership was done with a company that already works with the Space Systems division.

“It is really a good fit and it will be good for OHB to open operations in a new country,” Persson said in an interview. “This is very much the right step for the people in the division, and for the industry. The division is going into a bigger company with a full order book.”

Persson confirmed that SSC had been trying to sell the division for a year and had reviewed other possible transactions that offered less in the way of growth for the division.

In addition to its work on the Small-Geo satellite platform, the new OHB Sweden manages the Swedish Prisma two-satellite formation-flying system, which includes an experimental satellite fuel that SSC believes one day should replace hydrazine.

The German space agency, DLR, has recently leased the Prisma system from SSC to test its capabilities and give Germany a better idea for future formation-flying projects.

“This is a buildup of expertise that has occurred over more than 20 years,” Persson said of the division. He said OHB has made no commitment to retain the staff in Sweden, and he declined to comment on whether the transaction’s terms included a cash investment by SSC to sweeten the offer.
 
                       



Swedish Space Corporation to sell satellite division.

The government-owned Swedish Space Corp. is soliciting bids for its satellite division and is expected to conclude a sale by the end of the year, Lars Persson, the company’s chief executive, said Oct. 7.
(Space News. Oct.7.) 

(Arielspace: Usually I never copy a complete text, I just quote shorter parts. But the fact that Sweden is giving up something that has taken 30 years to build up makes me very upset. It is stupid. Read everything here that Space News is writing about the sale.)

The satellite division, which was responsible for Europe’s Smart-1 lunar orbiting mission and, more recently, the two Prisma satellites that are testing a new satellite propellant and formation-flying techniques, is likely to be purchased by a strategic investor, Persson said in an interview.

Persson did not disclose whether any formal bids had been received. He said he expected several companies will be interested in taking over a division whose technologies include propellants that are both user friendly and more efficient, and the ability to fly satellites in extremely close proximity.

“The consolidation of the space industry and of space projects in Europe” is what is driving the sale, Persson said. “We have seen it in recent projects like the Sentinel [Earth observation] satellites and the recent MTG [meteorological] satellite bidding. Projects are getting too big to remain isolated.”

The intellectual property rights associated with the satellite division’s technologies will be part of the package, he said.

The satellite division counts about 60 employees and reports, on average, 20 million euros ($17.5 million) in annual revenue, Persson said. Swedish Space Corp. (SSC) has hired an outside financial advisor to help with valuation assessments and with organizing the bidding, he said.

While the government has not given orders about who would be an acceptable owner, Persson said it is clear that prospective buyers realize that the division will need to remain mostly in Sweden in order to take advantage of Swedish government space spending. Persson said SSC is not ruling out selling 100 percent of the division, but could keep a minority stake.

Several companies in the past couple of years have demonstrated a willingness to consolidate Europe’s space industrial sector, which has been created over the past three decades in part as companies are fed with European Space Agency (ESA) and national space agency contracts on condition that the funds and the industrial base remains in the home country.

The 18-nation ESA has begun taking steps to modify the way it awards contracts so as not to block what government and industry officials say is a necessary reduction in the number of small, independent companies that have trouble surviving in the commercial market.

ESA spending for 2010 and 2011 will be flat from 2009, and the agency’s near-term financial prospects show little chance of major budget increases, giving small companies nowhere to turn but to their national governments — where spending is also flat, for the most part — and the commercial market.

Persson said the sale of the satellite division should be seen as a way to give Swedish-born satellite technologies room to grow inside a larger corporate structure in ways that SSC cannot assure.

Several companies have been active in the past couple of years in rolling up small operations into a single corporation while retaining the staff in their home countries to assure government support. Ruag Space AG of Zurich, whose equity is owned by the Swiss government, has purchased the largest space industry contractors in Switzerland, Austria and Sweden and would be one logical candidate to buy SSC’s satellite division, industry officials said.

Other potential buyers would include Qinetiq of Britain, which has a presence in Belgium and the United States; and OHB Technology of Germany, which in recent years has developed divisions in Italy and Belgium. 
    

 
The Prisma-satellites have separated.

The Swedish Prisma formation flying and rendezvous satellites, named Mango and Tango, have now been separated. The satellites have been clamped together since the successful launch in June.
(2010-08-12)

From the mission control center, the SSC engineers report:
”Telemetry indicated that Tango was free flying and had stabilised itself in a slowly rotating sun pointing attitude. Battery was nominal and solar array is working. Everything is fine aboard Tango. The GPS navigation shows that the relative trajectory is nominal: distance had increased to about 120m. The relative velocity at separation was at the right magnitude and the induced momentum was very good. Tango only had to remove a tumbling of about 1 deg/s. We got the first few images down to ground during the first pass after separation. All systems look to be working as expected.”

This was only the beginning, now the series of navigation experiments and flight demonstrations can begin. Follow the reporting from SSC’s mission control center at www.prismasatellites.se  . 
 


SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF THE SWEDISH PRISMA SATELLITES 

The Swedish Prisma satellites have been successfully launched aboard a Dnepr launcher from Yasny, Russia, today at 14.42 UTC. Sixteen minutes after launch, the two Prisma satellites were released, clamped together in launch configuration.
(Pressrelease: Swedish Space Corporation. 15th of June 2010) 
 
The mission control center of the Swedish Space Corporation had its first contact with Prisma 16.14 UTC. The operations team could verify that the solar array panels had been deployed as planned and that the satellites are in a nominal state. During the coming days, all subsystems on both satellites will be successively verified, leading up to the planned separation of the satellites – Mango and Tango – on 3 August.

Prisma will demonstrate break-through technologies for autonomous formation flying and rendezvous. The mission comprises the verification of innovative systems for guidance, navigation and control, software and sensors as well as two propulsion systems. The series of experiments will commence after the separation in August and continue for ten months.

The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) is the prime contractor for Prisma and has developed the major part of the onboard technologies and navigation experiments as well as the mission control software. The German Aerospace Center DLR, the French space agency CNES and the Danish University of Technology have contributed with navigation experiments, software and sensors.

The environmentally benign propulsion system and the micropropulsion system demonstrated onboard are developed by the SSC companies ECAPS and NanoSpace and make their first spaceflight on Prisma.

The Swedish National Space Board is the initiator of the Prisma mission and finances the project with support from the space agencies of France and Germany.

“Prisma is an excellent platform for the Swedish space industry to qualify its inventions in space”, says Olle Norberg, Director General of the Swedish National Space Board. “The mission will fortify Sweden’s position as a prominent technology nation and hopefully open doors to new international space projects where we can contribute.”

“SSC is a renowned player in the international space business”, says Lars Persson, CEO of the Swedish Space Corporation. “We really look forward to once again proving our capabilities in satellite development and control, and to the verification of our unique innovations such as the propulsion systems, which we expect to be very prosperous on the international market. We also appreciate the very rewarding cooperation we have with our European partners in this project.”

Technologies for autonomous formation flying and rendezvous are required in scientific missions where two or more spacecraft need to interact to form powerful antennas and telescopes. These innovations are also essential in missions that involve docking and inspections of satellites in orbit.

           

           
New Swedish satellites ready to fly.

Mango and Tango, the two orbiting technology testbeds in Sweden´s Prisma mission, are set for launch from Yasny, in southern Russia, on a June 15 Dnepr flight.
(from Aviation Week & Space Technology. 24th of May 2010.)

Once in orbit, the Prisma spacecraft will test techniques for formationflying and rendezvous, including the sensors and guidance, navigation and control systems.

Also on the agenda are tests of the High Performance Green Propellant developed by Swedish company Ecaps. The mission will also flight-qualify upgrades of the data-handling and power systems used on the European Space agency´s Smart-1 lunar orbiter, which was built by the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), and the Ramses ground system developed by SSC.

NanoSpace, like Ecaps, is an SSC subsidiary, and will test its siliconbased cold-gas microthrusters on the mission. The Swedish National Space Board sponsors the mission, with contributions from Denmark, France and Germany. 

Arielspace visited SSC.

I visited SSC headquarter in Solna, close to Stockholm, in 2008 and saw the two satellites.
                                 
Read about it here.                           
       


Nine years in orbit for the Swedish research satellite Odin.
(Pressrelease from Swedish Space Corporation. 2010-02-22)

Odin was designed for a two-year mission and has now outlived the design goal life time by eight years. Since the launch in 2001, Odin has delivered a large amount of data that has resulted in 29 doctoral theses in the four partner countries, Sweden, Canada, France, and Finland. The most recent one is on satellite microwave measurements of cloud ice properties, a newly developed method that will give information on ice clouds and their importance to the climate.



Delay for Prisma-satellites
.

Launch of the Swedish-led Prisma formation-flying mission could be delayed because of concerns over possible down-range damage from rockets launched from Russias Yasni Cosmodrome.
(From Aviation Week & Space Technology. 11th of February 2010.) 

Prisma is slated to lift off from Yasni on April 6 on a Kosmotras Dnepr booster, but the launch status may still be in a state of flux.  A Dnepr flight from Yasni in 2008 carrying Thailand´s Theos surveillance satellite was delayed for months because of overflight issues with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

If the April 6 slot is missed, it will be necessary to shift the launch to Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, says Christer Nilsson, industrial affairs officer at the Swedish National Space Board. This would mean queuing up behind several other missions. "If Prisma goes to Baikonur, we´re probably looking at an August launch," Nilsson says. 

Read about the Prisma-satellites.           
           

 

 


       
            




Updated 09/07/2018