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SSC Launches Suborbital BROR Aurora Rocket

By Mark Holmes | March 24, 2023

SSC launches the BROR rocket from the Esrange Space Center in Sweden. Photo: SSC

Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) has completed the launch of a new mission to research space weather. The company announced on March 23 that it launched a sounding rocket BROR was launched from the Esrange Space Center in Sweden to a suborbital altitude of 240 km where it created an auroral light show on the evening sky. SSC says the research will deepen its knowledge about northern lights and space weather and how they affect people on Earth.

The data from the experiment will be used by the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) scientists in Kiruna to study conditions in near-Earth space which is a piece of the aurora research puzzle that can enable better forecasts of the Sun’s activity and how its solar wind of charged particles affect critical infrastructure on Earth and satellites. This mission is funded by the Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA), within the Swedish national balloon and rocket program, where Swedish science community is offered the opportunity to do research in space from Esrange. Similar scientific experiments for aurora studies have been done before by NASA.

Esrange is located in the very north of Sweden, above the Arctic Circle.

“This was probably one of the most beautiful rocket launches I have experienced from Esrange. But more importantly, this research will pave the way for a deeper understanding of space weather, the phenomenon of aurora and how it affects space infrastructure which is crucial for our societies on Earth. I’m proud of the SSC team that designed the payload and launched the BROR rocket for the scientists at IRF,” Krister Sjölander, vice president of science services and head of payloads and flight systems at SSC, said in a statement.