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.

Sweden signs Artemis Accords

Sweden yesterday became the 38th nation to sign the Artemis Accords, one day after Switzerland had officially signed.

The alliance now includes the following nations: Angola, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Columbia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the Ukraine, the United States and Uruguay.

The press release once again focuses on “reinforcing” the Outer Space Treaty, rather than using the accords to get around that treaty’s limitations of private property. More and more it appears the Biden administration and the global community wants to use this alliance not to encourage the establishment of a legal framework for private ownership, but to retain that power within the governments involved.

As I said last week, “Under these circumstances, I wonder why China and Russia haven’t signed on as well.”

Two-thirds of all approved cancer drugs do nothing for patients

A long term study in Sweden of 22 cancer drugs that its government had approved for rapid use before being tested fully has found that two-thirds provided absolute no benefit to patients.

The Gothenburg team examined 22 cancer drugs approved for reimbursement in Sweden over the last 10 years, examining studies that tested their ability to improve quality of life or lengthen lifespans. On average, these reports examined the drugs for 6.6 years.

Results revealed only seven of the 22 drugs had at least one study which showed a clear benefit for cancer patients. Randomized controlled trials on the other 15 failed to show any tangible benefits for people with cancer. Only one drug in the study showed an ability to both improve the quality of life and extend lifespans for patients.

“We have shown that the majority of the drugs launched with limited evidence still lack clear evidence of how they actually affect survival and quality of life in patients,” says Gabriella Chauca Strand, a doctoral student at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg and the lead author of the study, in a university release.

This sentence from the university’s press release was even more striking:

Only one of the drugs had scientific evidence of both increased life expectancy and improved quality of life for its indication.

Essentially, 95% of these approved drugs were failures. Most did nothing and were worthless, despite the Swedish government paying huge amounts of money buying them. A few either improved the quality of life (but failed to keep the patient alive) or kept the patient alive longer (but made their lives miserable).

Does this sound familiar? Doesn’t make you wonder about the drug approval process in the U.S., especially after the disaster of the emergency approval of the COVID shots that we know now not only failed to prevent infection, were actually very harmful to many.

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.

Sweden upgrading suborbital launchsite for orbital business

A Swedish launchsite that the European Space Agency (ESA) has used on and off for decades for suborbital test launches is now being upgraded to make it attractive to smallsat rocket companies.

Founded by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1966 to study the atmosphere and Northern Lights phenomenon, the Esrange space center has invested heavily in its facilities in recent years to be able to send satellites into space.

At a huge new hangar big enough to house two 30-meter rockets currently under assembly elsewhere, Philip Pahlsson, head of the “New Esrange” project, pulls up a heavy blue door. Under the rosy twilight of this early afternoon, construction machines nearby can be seen busily completing work on three new launch pads. “Satellite launches will start to take place from here next year,” Pahlsson says.

In Europe, Esrange is competing with a new Norway spaceport for the first orbital rocket launch. It is also competing with two spaceports in Scotland. And the one that makes launches easy for the new smallsat rocket companies is going to garner the most business.

Sweden — land of no lockdowns or mandates — is doing best of all European nations against COVID

Present European statistics on COVID
Click for full image.

Sweden has been slammed repeatedly by our panic-stricken mob of elitist leaders in politics, academia, and journalism for refusing to impose lockdowns or mask mandates. Instead, they essentially followed the recommendations of the Great Barrington Declaration and focused on protecting the vulnerable (the old and sick) while allowing everyone else (the young and healthy) to live normal lives. (This approach is what western civilization had done for the last two centuries when faced with a new flu epidemic, and only abandoned it in 2020 when our new leftist masters decided they knew better.)

The result was that the COVID virus quickly spread through Sweden’s strong and healthy population, did little harm, but left behind a nation of people who all have a natural immunity to the Wuhan flu and its later strains. Thus, while the rest of Europe — home of totalitarian and mindless governmental restrictions, lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates — is now dealing with new outbreaks of the Wuhan flu and new deaths, Sweden is not.

The chart above, from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and annotated by Doug Ross, illustrates this starkly. He also notes this disgusting fact about the bankrupt journalists of today:

It took me well more than 12 seconds to find the website of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, where weekly Covid updates from each country are tabulated. That level of effort finding the numbers apparently is too difficult for Pro Journalists at the HDNY Times*, CCNN, NBS, Politishmo, Yapoo and the rest.

Natural immunity is the best way to protect against the arrival of new flu strains. The drugs that have been developed might do okay, but against respiratory diseases like the coronavirus they have never been a real solution, only a bandaid that is best reserved for that old and sick population who really needs it. This is why we have always advised older people to get flu shots, but not the young.

Evidence proves lockdowns bad; Democrats scream, “We must have more lockdowns!”

Modern science!
How Democratic Party policy makers interpret data!

Almost a year and a half since the Wuhan panic swept across the world, the evidence continues to show that the policy decisions by our so-called “intellectual” class of experts to impose mandates and lockdowns were almost all stupid, producing disaster after disaster while completely failing to achieve any of their goals.

First we have Sweden, which refused to impose any lockdowns and now has practically no COVID-19 deaths at all.

An Imperial College model suggested that 85,000 people would die without a lockdown, and an Uppsala University team projected that 40,000 people would die from COVID-19 by May 1, 2020 and nearly 100,000 by June.

But by May, Sweden reported roughly six deaths for every one million people, according to the Financial Times, with 48.9% of its initial coronavirus deaths taking place in nursing homes, according to an analysis by the Swedish Public Health Agency. More than a year later, Sweden recorded 1.1 million coronavirus cases with 1.07 million people having recovered from the virus, and 14,620 coronavirus-linked deaths, according to woldometers.info as of Aug. 8, 2021.

Of the currently 12,248 people who have tested positive for COVID-19, 12, 219 are experiencing mild symptoms (99.8%) and 29 (0.2%) are in serious or critical condition, according to woldometers.info.

In other words, the models were so ridiculously wrong they weren’t even in the same galaxy as the results in the real world. Sweden’s population very quickly reached herd immunity and is now relatively immune from the virus and its later variants.

Moreover, Sweden’s economy has suffered little during the epidemic, and is doing nicely. Not so much in the U.S., where power-hungry politicians with their lockdowns have caused the destruction of 40% of all small businesses.

Nor is Sweden the only data point. A new study of 43 countries as well as all 50 U.S. states has found that lockdowns were worthless.
» Read more

Sweden declares victory over COVID-19

Sweden appears to have successfully weathered the Wuhan virus epidemic, with a current infection rate one of the lowest in the world, and that country did so with no lockdown, no mask mandates, and few restrictions on the lives of its citizens.

The country now has one of the lowest infection rates on the planet, and it’s difficult not to admire how it has handled the past year, with no strict lockdown or compulsory face mask rules. All businesses, schools and public places remained open in Sweden for the duration.

“Sweden has gone from being the country with the most infections in Europe to the safest one,” Sweden’s senior epidemiologist Dr. Anders Tegnell commented to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. “What we see now is that the sustainable policy might be slower in getting results, but it will get results eventually,” Tegnell clarified.

“And then we also hope that the result will be more stable,” he added.

Tegnell previously warned that encouraging people to wear face masks is “very dangerous” because it gives a false sense of security but does not effectively stem the spread of the virus.

To put it more bluntly, Sweden did not panic, looked at the early data, not the junk models, and correctly decided to treat COVID-19 as a variation of the flu. As a result the country’s population has now mostly acquired immunity, killing the epidemic, even as its economy avoided an unnecessary crash and an absurd loss of freedom for its citizens.

More data from Sweden demonstrates failure of lock downs everywhere else

Link here. Sweden imposed almost no rules when the Wuhan virus arrived. And though Sweden’s death toll was higher than many other places, consider this:

Of the 5,783 deaths, how many do you think were of people under the age of 40-years-old? 20%? 10%? No. Not even close. In Sweden, 26 people under the age of 40-years-old have died from COVID-19. That means less than one-half of one percent of the deaths associated with the coronavirus were of people younger than middle age. What’s more is that they have now essentially flattened the curve completely to the point that they often report zero deaths on any given day. [emphasis in original]

Also, only one school-age child died. Only one.

This is not a disease to be feared if you are healthy, especially if you are healthy and young. We should stop panicking.

Sweden is no leftist utopia

Link here. This quote gives the flavor:

‘Nowhere else has the direct link between individual and state evolved as far as in Sweden,” Asbrink writes. “You don’t expect your family or relatives or friends or charity organizations to help if you become vulnerable,” she said. “You expect the state to help you.” Swedish parents have no obligation to their children once they turn 18. The elderly turn to the state rather than their adult offspring for support.

“This of course means freedom from family bonds or ties,” Asbrink said. “But it also means isolation. People feel lonely. There is a built-in depression that comes with this deal with the state.”

From the 1950s through the 1970s, that translated into some of the developed world’s highest suicide rates and had a noticeable impact on Sweden’s artists.

There’s more in the article, including detailing how in the past few decades Sweden has been moving back to individual responsibility and private enterprise. This information is important in connection with American politics, as Democrats routinely tout Sweden as the paradise they wish to build in America. The article questions their assumptions.

Swedish Facebook suspends journalist for defending freedom of speech

They’re coming for you next: An independent journalist in Sweden says that she was suspended from Swedish Facebook for seven days for posting an essay supporting British reporter Tommy Robinson and the concept of true freedom of speech, where you defend all opinions, even those you oppose.

Independent journalist and freedom fighter Katerina Janouch wrote a short introduction for an article in her own online magazine “Katerina Magasin.” The article, written by another Swedish writer – Madeleine Rönnqvist Lilja — is about the British freedom fighter Tommy Robinson. In her text, Katerina wrote: “Defending freedom of expression when you agree is a breeze, but if we are to have any freedom of speech worth mentioning, it must also be defended when it is challenged and not all agree.” She then pointed out that it “may be your turn next”.

And Swedish Facebook took Katerina at her word and suspended her.

It would not surprise me if this claim is 100% true. However, the article does not provide detailed information about what Swedish Facebook claimed was the reason, if any, for the suspension, and the source article that does give those details is in Swedish. It is therefore possible that Facebook had some other reason for its actions. I just can’t confirm that.

I must emphasize however that I am trying to be unreasonably fair here. The behavior of large tech companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. has been routinely leftist and increasingly hostile to opposing opinions. Moreover, this is Swedish Facebook, where I expect the political culture is even more leftist and intolerant of opposing views. I would expect them to try an shut down any postings that express strong reservations about Islam, because the left for some reason has apparently decided that Muslims are a protected and oppressed minority that must never be challenged.

For those who are unfamiliar with Tommy Robinson, he is an activist and online writer who has been imprisoned and harassed by British authorities because he has been uncompromising in his reporting of radical Islam.

Sweden fines man for writing insults about Somalis

They’re coming for you next: A man has been convicted of the crime in Sweden of daring to write something derogatory about Somalis.

A 70-year-old man who recently was prosecuted for writing that Somalis are lazy and don’t work, has now been convicted of the crime in Sweden. It is “derogatory to the group of Somalis’ reputation” according to the District Court.

The man, who lives in western Sweden, wrote in connection with a Facebook post that linked to an SVT article, which stated that only one out of five Somalis have a job, that “no Somali can work they are the laziest people in this world”.

The verdict came last week. The man was convicted of hate speech by a unanimous District Court, and ordered to pay 60 daily fines of SEK 120, totaling SEK 7200 (700 euro’s).

It is astonishing to me how completely we have forgotten the concept of freedom of speech, which by definition must allow everyone the right to insult others. Without the ability to offend, there is no point to free speech, because no one will be allowed to point out the mistakes or foibles of others.

Sweden delivers science instrument for Chinese lunar probe

The new colonial movement: The Swedish Institute of Physics has completed construction and delivered a science instrument to be flown on China’s Chang’e 4 spacecraft that will bring an orbiter, lander, and rover to the Moon’s far side in 2018.

The instrument will be installed on the rover, and will study the surface and how it interacts with the solar wind. This will also be a continuation of research performed by India’s Chandayaan-1 orbiter.

Look like a Jew in Sweden and get attacked by anti-semitic Arabs

The religion of peace marches on: A Swedish reporter decided to walk through an Arab neighborhood in a Swedish city and found himself repeatedly attacked.

In one scene, Ljunggren — who, in addition to wearing a kippah was also wearing Star of David pendant — was filmed sitting at a café in central Malmo reading a newspaper, as several passersby hurled anti-Semitic insults at him. Elsewhere, one person hit his arm, the reporter said on camera, though this was not recorded. One of the people who cursed Ljunggren called him a “Jewish devil,” “Jewish shit” and another told him to “get out.”

One person on a scooter approached Ljunggren to warn him to leave for his own safety. In the heavily Muslim Rosengard neighborhood, Ljunggren was surrounded by a dozen men who shouted anti-Semitic slogans as eggs were hurled at his direction from apartments overhead. He then fled the area.

Recently in the U.S. there was a big to-do because a women leftwing radical feminist videotaped herself walking around New York to show how men treat women with disrespect. As usual, for the left this video demonstrated their childish focus on minor abuse when real violence and hate is going on worldwide, under their nose.