Andøya Spaceport has opened the first operational spaceport in continental Europe. The site will be used for Isar Aerospace’s first launch and includes a launch pad, payload integration facilities as well as a mission control centre.
Located in Nordmela on the Norwegian island of Andøya, the spaceport will be used by Isar Aerospace and its clients to bring small- and medium-sized satellites to space. The launch site will support the two-stage launch vehicle Spectrum, which is set to carry out final stage testing.
Daniel Metzler, CEO and co-founder of Isar Aerospace said, “Today, Norway, the Andøya region and Isar Aerospace take a big step towards space. Over the last five years, we have built a rocket that will help to solve the most crucial bottleneck in the European space industry – sovereign and competitive access to space.
“Together with Andøya Spaceport, our team has created an excellent piece of engineering, the first orbital launch site in continental Europe which will bring this access to space to Norway, and back to Europe. For Isar Aerospace, this step equals entering the final stages of our path to first flight. For Europe, it means being able to harness the power of the space platform.”
With its location far north at a coastline, Andøya Spaceport’s can offer launches to highly retrograde orbit inclinations. These are favourable for sun synchronous as well as polar orbits, but these types of launch sites are limited globally.
Ingun Berget, president of Andøya Spaceport, commented, “The opening of the spaceport on Andøya island marks an important milestone for Norway, European New Space industry and our partnership with Isar Aerospace. This enables us to have the first satellite launches ever from European soil to take place from Andøya.”
Isar Aerospace will offer the first fully privately funded European launch solution to meet the growing demand for transporting small and medium-sized satellites into space.
The Spectrum rocket will also have an entirely new propellant set, which will reduce emissions substantially compared to classical rockets.
Image: Isar Aerospace