Published in Norrbottens Affärer
Johanna Bergström Roos, project manager of the RIT project, has worked in the aerospace industry for 25 years. She is proud of being part of Space Kiruna and all the possibilities that the space industry offers. Below you will find a chronicle of some questions she is thinking of.
Most of us know that Kiruna is a space city, but what does it really mean? How many of us can tell the world about the talent that we possess or our research facilities are of world class and attracts customers from all over the world?
I have worked in the aerospace industry for 25 years and sometimes marvel over the ignorance that prevails in the area. It is strange that our youngsters are not fighting over the space programs that are offered in their home town. We have Sweden’s only Space Highschool and at Space Campus Luleå University of Technology offers expertise in a range of programs at both masters and doctoral level. All together at Space Campus we have no less than seven professors in different space areas along with their team that distinguishes themselves with world-leading research. Here I include IRF, EISCAT and Luleå university of technology (LTU).
How many knows that the activities at Space Campus is expanding fast and that LTU has expanded by around twenty employees in the past year? These are teachers, engineers, graduate students, researchers, professors, and an investment of around SEK 100 million. These are people passionate about space and they have moved to Kiruna because they want to be part of an exciting space environment. Here you meet people from all corners of the world that share a common interest, and our city is filled with invaluable skills. An expertise that will help us build a future Kiruna. A city must stand on several corner stones to develop.
How many of you know that Esrange is considered one of Europe’s strategic space assets? This space base received great attention in the study commissioned by the government which will form the basis for Sweden’s new space strategy? Right now they are focusing on the project “New Esrange” with the aim to develop the existing business, and expand it to launch small satellites into Earth orbit. This is planned to take place within a period of five years and will further strengthen Space Kiruna’s position in the global space arena.
“New Esrange” will give us a unique competence within satellite activities: design and development of satellite platforms (LTU), design and development of scientific instruments (IRF) and the launching, commissioning, control and data acquisition (Esrange). And this is just one of several development plans within our space region.
What if we could get all of Norrbotten to understand the incredible wealth we have and what exciting activities our youngsters could be a part of. Already as a student they get the opportunity to participate in real space projects during their training. 600 young students from all over the world has understood this and they all apply for the education program “Space Master” this fall. This is LTU’s most popular program all categories and 60 happy students will be accepted.