Fire tears through northern Swedish space research centre

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Fire tears through northern Swedish space research centre
A fire at the Esrange Space Centre in Kiruna, Sweden. Photo: Rymdbolaget SSC/TT

Part of a rocket launch pad was destroyed after a large fire at the Esrange scientific space research centre in northern Sweden.


The fire broke out early on Thursday "during a scheduled static firing test of a solid rocket motor" and was under control by late afternoon when "post-extinguishing work" was being conducted, Esrange Space Centre said in a statement.

Located in the town of Kiruna, the centre is a base for scientific research with high-altitude balloons, studies on the aurora borealis phenomenon (also known as the Northern Lights), sounding rocket launches and satellite tracking, among other things.

No injuries were reported, though some staff were taken to hospital for a check-up.

The fire damaged "part of the sounding rocket launching infrastructure," Esrange Space Centre said.

"The full extent of damages and consequences for launching operations cannot yet be assessed," it said.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also