Esrange Space Center is a rocket range and research centre located about 40 kilometers east of the town of Kiruna in northern Sweden. It is a base for scientific research with high-altitude balloons, investigation of the aurora borealis, sounding rocket launches, and satellite tracking, among other things. Located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle and surrounded by a vast wilderness, its geographic location is ideal for many of these purposes.
Esrange was built in 1964 by ESRO, the European Space Research Organisation, which later became European Space Agency by merging with ELDO, the European Launcher Development Organisation. The first rocket launch from Esrange occurred on 19 November 1966. In 1972, ownership was transferred to the newly started Swedish Space Corporation.
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