Sweden’s Esrange spaceport gets its first orbital customer

Proposed spaceports surrounding Norwegian Sea
Proposed spaceports surrounding Norwegian Sea

Sweden’s Esrange spaceport today announced it has signed its firs orbital rocket customer, Perigee Aerospace from South Korea.

In its 7 May announcement, SSC explained that Perigee Aerospace expected to launch the first Blue Whale 1 mission from Esrange no earlier than 2025 following a successful maiden flight from South Korean soil.

…Blue Whale 1 is a two-stage rocket that will stand approximately 21 metres tall and feature a reusable first stage.

Esrange was originally built by an earlier version of the European Space Agency in 1964, then transferred to Sweden in 1972. Until until a orbital launchpad was installed 2023 it was solely dedicated to suborbital flights. It now is attempting to attract the new commercial rocket industry, as well as compete with the other new nearby spaceports, as shown on the map.

This new rocket from South Korea is also news, as it indicates that the fever for capitalism in space has even reached that country.