Green Light Given for Satellite Launch Base at Andoya in Norway

Sounding rocket launch at Andoya. (Credit; Norwegian Space Agency)

OSLO, Norway (Norwegian Space Agency PR) — Andoya Space is to receive 365.6 million Norwegian kroner [US $43.4 million] from the Norwegian government to establish a launch base for small satellites at Andoya in Northern Norway. 

The news were announced at a press conference at the Norwegian Space Agency this morning [Oct. 8].

“This is a historical day for both Andoya and Norway as a space faring nation. Andoya Space will power a transition for the whole community of Andoya, as well as boost the  region of Northern Norway. The launch base will make Norway one of the few countries in the world capable of launching satellites from its own territory,” said Norway´s Prime Minister Erna Solberg. 

“Andoya Space expects as many as 150 new positions in connection with the launch base. This is technology in development and will afford several exciting and modern high competency jobs to Northern Norway. These positions will be strongly competitive with a high bar for quality. Andoya is evolving to keep up with the global field,” said Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybo.

The first satellite launch from Andoya is expected to take place in the third quarter of 2022. 

For CEO of Andoya Space, Odd Roger Enoksen, this is a great day to be a space director.

“I´m convinced that the establishment of the first launch base for satellites on European soil will result in a ripple effect far beyond Andoya, even past Norway´s borders,” Enoksen says.

“We have the opportunity as a nation to take a clear role in Europe´s activities in space.” 

365.6 Million Norwegian Kroner in Funding and Support

In June 2020 the Norwegian Parliament assigned Andoya Space up to 282.6 million kroner [US $33.59 million] in funding and 83 million kroner [US $9.86 million] in additional support for establishing a launch base for small satellites at Andoya. In order to receive this, Andoya Space had to document that the funding would result in the same financial gain as a market investor would have accepted.

“The launch base at Andoya is an investment with great opportunities, but also considerable risk. The Norwegian State therefore needed documentation showing that the funding is invested on the same terms as a commercial investor would accept,” says Nybo.

Andoya Space has now demonstrated a more well-adapted business model and enough documentation showing that the terms for the Parliament´s funding have been reached and are in accordance with the European Economic Area’s regulations for state funding.  

“Resolving this has been both challenging and time consuming. We have a clear expectation that Andoya Space will achieve the results in accordance with the business plan presented,” Nybo says.

A global market

“The government’s green light for funding means that Andoya Space now will be able to offer launch services to the ever growing global market for small satellites. This will be the foundation for the commercial business at the new launch base,” says Christian Hauglie-Hanssen, Director General of the Norwegian Space Agency.  

“Simultaneously, these commercial space activities will also put Norway and Andoya on the map as a strategic, European asset in the space sector.”

Andoya Space has made long term agreements with German satellite launch companies Isar Aerospace and Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA). Andoya Space will deliver the services for the infrastructure necessary for launch to Isar Aerospace and RFA, while Isar Aerospace and RFA will offer launches for international customers.

Andoya Space will finalize agreements with customers and contractors in the time ahead.