Downtown Andenes, there is not much to indicate that the municipality is home to a cornerstone company of Norwegian space industry. Yet the impression is deceiving. In Oksebåsen, just four kilometers southwest of Andenes, rocket history is written as we speak.
Northern lights research
The current parent company, Andøya Space, was established back in 1962 by the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) in order to find out what affected the short-wave radio net in the High North. Yet for almost 60 years, northern lights research with rockets has been its core activity.
“From then and until today, we have exploited this competence and infrastructure to move into a series of new business areas”, says CEO Odd Roger Enoksen.
On its High North Tour 2021, High North News has arrived at one of the local communities in the High North that has been through quite a struggle to keep defense activities locally. In Andøya, the battle has been one about the local air base.
The locals lost that struggle, yet Andøya Space now emerges as the biggest local employer. Odd Roger Enoksen predicts that the corporation, which consists of multiple companies, will grow to have a staff of 250 people over the next couple of years.
Andøya Space Orbital
“We are currently working on what may be the most exciting thing here, Andøya Space Orbital. It will be in charge of launching satellites”, Enoksen says.
“This is a project that will truly place Andøya at the forefront of the European space map. Last year, Stortinget [the Norwegian parliament] agreed to invest NOK 1 billion.”
Join us to the technological stronghold Andøya Space and get an exclusive tour of the premises with CEO Odd Roger Enoksen.
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This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.