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Spaceport Sweden is a company that plans to make Kiruna the primary European Spaceport for personal suborbital spaceflight for space tourism, research, education and a hub for cross-industry innovation.
Sweden’s Minister for Enterprise and Communication, Maud Olofsson inaugurated the project as a national initiative in 2007.[not verified in body] The current CEO of the spaceport is Karin Nilsdotter.
The official inauguration of the company was made on 26 January 2007 and the company started off by signing an agreement with Virgin Galactic. The agreement stated that the two would be working together towards an operational agreement whereby Spaceport Sweden would be the first spaceport outside the United States which Virgin Galactic could use for flight campaigns.
On 3 April 2008, a press conference was held in Kiruna, and a number of astronauts in training were presented to the press, but details of an agreement, if any, were not released.
In 2012, Spaceport Sweden launched an initiative to offer learning adventures and spaceflight preparation providing the opportunity to explore more about the aurora borealis through northern light flights in Kiruna. Further, in collaboration with QinetiQ, a 2-day spaceflight preparation program is provided using a long-arm centrifuge and hypobaric chamber to simulate and prepare for the upcoming spaceflights.
In 2013, Spaceport Sweden initiated a limited offering of weightless flight experiences, in collaboration with AirZeroG and Novespace in France, to private individuals using a specially outfitted Airbus A300 capable of simulating a short-duration zero-gravity environment.
- Burrell, Ian (27 July 2013). "Spaceport Sweden: Lapland centre to rival Virgin Galactic's commercial space programme". The Independent. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- "Spaceport Sweden and Virgin Galactic" (Press release). virgingalactic.com. 3 April 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
- "Sweden bids to be European base for Virgin Galactic". BBC News. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Messier, Doug (18 March 2013). "First Commercial Parabolic Flight Takes Place in Europe". Parabolic Arc. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- "Spaceport Sweden Wins Kiruna Lapland Award". Parabolic Arc. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.