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Sweden cuts ribbon on Esrange spaceport

Sweden yesterday officially inaugurated a new commercial launch site at the Esrange spaceport that the ESA had used previously for suborbital tests.

The site is an extension of the Esrange Space Centre in Sweden’s Arctic, around 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the town of Kiruna. Around 15 million euros ($16.3 million) have been invested in the site, which is expected to serve as a complement to Europe’s space hub at Kourou in French Guiana. It will also provide launch capabilities at a time when cooperation with Russia and the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan has been curtailed by the war in Ukraine.

Esrange’s state-owned operator, the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), aims to launch its first satellite from the site “in the first quarter of 2024”, a spokesman told AFP on Friday.

At this moment, there are three commercial rocket spaceports racing to complete the first orbital launch from Europe. Esrange in Sweden and the two UK spaceports, Spaceport Sutherland in Scotland and SaxaVord in the Shetland Islands. Cornwall in the UK is an airport, so it can only launch rockets that use an airplane, which essentially limits its launch customers to Virgin Orbit.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Gary

    This will give Lee a good spot to monitor for us. I enjoyed hearing him on the last Space Show.

  • Lee S

    Good news indeed!! It makes it much more possible for me to get a chance to see a rocket launch “in the flesh” ( although it’s still somewhat of a treck, a minimum of 12 hours by train from Stockholm…. For a small country Sweden is pretty big! )

    And I will of course provide boots on the ground info as I encounter it!

  • Lee S

    @ Jeff… Im a bit late in posting this comment, but according to my late father, who was a keen amateur geologist, northern Sweden has an amazing verity of assets… On a trip up there we were able to buy a litteral bucket full of spoils off the spoil heaps of a very small mine for a couple of bucks… Sweden ain’t just granite!!
    In 2004, ( BC…. Before Children) myself and a friend had a bit of a game playing penny shares in the Swedish market… I made enough to take me and my ex on a nice holiday to Greece… All on north Swedish mining capital… I kinda wish I had hung on to them… I might be rich now..

    But I had a bloody good holiday.. so no regrets… But for those still interested, Swedish geology is 90% granite, but the 10% that isn’t, is very unusual. This mine could turn into gold!

  • Andi

    I was surprised to find out that Baikonur is administrated as an exclave of Russia in Kazakhstan, which implies that in addition to leasing it, Russia has actual sovereignty there.

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