Milestones from the Space Norway history
Tromsø Telemetristasjon (TTS) was established by the Royal Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to benefit from Tromsø’s favourable geographic location for the download of data from satellites in polar orbits.
The Norwegian Space Agency (NRS) was established in 1987 when Norway becomes a member of the European Space Agency (ESA). TTS and its activities are incorporated into the Norwegian Space
Agency in 1991.
The Norwegian Space Agency organises parts of its activities as limited liability companies. Tromsø Satellite Station AS is set up to manage operational activities, and Norsk Romsenter Eiendom (today Space Norway) is set up as the owner of the infrastructure.
In 2002 Space Norway separated out its Svalbard satellite infrastructure business into a new subsidiary named Satellite Services AS. This company subsequently merged with Kongsberg Gruppen’s activities on Svalbard and the merged company was named Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT). Since its formation in 2002 KSAT has been a 50/50 joint venture between Space Norway and Kongsberg Gruppen.
Svalbard is in a geographically advantageous location for downloading data from satellites in polar orbits. Efficient transfer of large volumes of
data to the mainland became a prerequisite for enabling further development of the Svalbard business. The Norwegian Space Agency therefore took the initiative to establish a 1,400-kilometre subsea fibre-optic cable connection between the mainland and Svalbard. Space Norway was given the assignment to establish the connection and own and operate this important infrastructure. The fibre connection became operational in January 2004 and is now a prerequisite for KSAT’s activities on Svalbard as well as for the Longyearbyen community in general.
Space Norway finances the first antenna for satellite communication with the Troll Station in Antarctica.
The company is formally given its current name, Space Norway. At the end of 2013, the ownership of Space Norway is transferred from the Norwegian Space Agency to the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.
Space Norway acquires a transponder on Telenor’s Thor 7 satellite dedicated to a communications link with the Troll Station in Antarctica. This enables KSAT to down-link information from satellites passing across the South Pole. Space Norway worked with KSAT and Telenor Satellite in 2013/2014 to realise the dedicated communications solution onboard Telenor’s Thor 7 satellite. The communications link is leased to KSAT which is the only operator able to offer communications with satellites at both the North and South Poles.
KSAT and Space Norway launches a pre-project to develop a new satellite-based radar system for ocean surveillance.
The Norwegian Parliamant approves conditional equity financing for the realisation of broadband communication in the Arctic.
Space Norway finalized all contracts for and initiates the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM), an important milestone in the company’s history. With an investment budget of approx. USD 450 million, ASBM is the largest satellite programme rolled out in Norway. Two satellites in a highly elliptical orbit will provide broadband coverage north of 65° N parallell. Launch of the satellites is planned for late 2022 carried by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The ASBM satellites are under construction.