The Norwegian government supports the plans about establishing a small satellite launching base at Andøya Space Center and today announced its intent of providing ASC with a NOK 20 million loan.
- Competition is close and fast-moving, CEO Odd Roger Enoksen at Andøya Space Center said to High North News last December.
The market for launching of commercial satellites sees rapid growth and there are already many international suppliers on the market.
Andøya hopes that it will place Norway in the international lead of this area in just a few years’ time. At best, it may provide up to 200-300 new jobs, according to the founders at ASC and Andøy municipality. It may also have significant ripple effect on a national scale.
- We need resources if Norway is to assume this position, said Andøy’s Mayor Jonni Solsvik (Conservatives) when HNN visited Andøy in December 2017.
Trade Minister Røe Isaksen: - I am excited
The Norwegian government now announces that it will provide Andøya Space Center with a loan of NOK 20 million. The money is to be used on an assessment to find out whether it is possible to launch smaller satellites from Andøya.
- At Andøy island, we have an advanced high-tech community that has decades of experience in launching scientific research satellites. I am therefore excited to see what Andøy may produce in this area, says Minister of Trade, Industry and Fisheries Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.
The past few years have seen a change in the development of satellites. While past satellites were rather large and costly to build, today sees a series of smaller and less costly satellites.
Today, smaller satellites depend on getting a lift with a larger satellites in order to be launched into its orbit. Andøya Space Center has therefore worked for years on a project aiming to construct a launch base for smaller satellites at Andøya.
Significant work still remains to explore whether such a base may be established on the basis of commercial operations. This work demands heavy resources, and the government thus proposes to provide ASC with a responsible loan to conduct the remaining assessments required. The loan is to be provided on current market conditions.
Customers around the world – and growing
High North News has not yet succeeded in getting comments from the initiators Odd Roger Enoksen and Andøy Mayor Jonni Solsvik (Conservatives) to get their view on the news.
Andøya Space Center is owned 90 percent by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries (managed by Norwegian Space Center, journ. note), while Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace owns the remaining 10 percent of the company’s shares.
Andøy Space Center supplies launch and test services to customers all around the world. The enterprise, which consists of three companies, has seen significant growth over the past few years.
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