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Space for the north

The current Government in Norway has emphasized the focus on the northern regions of Norway and the High Arctic. This focus encompasses research, environment, demographics, industrial and societal development as well as security aspects. The most visible issues concern the...
The utilization of space in the North can be divided into three groups:
  • Research from and of space in the North.
  • Among a number of things this is to have the best knowledge of issues concerning global change. The combination of information from satellites, data from sounding rockets and high altitude balloons as well as ground measurements are crucial for understanding the scientific aspects of the Polar regions.
  • Space as a prerequisite for the development of the North.
  • This includes the availability of reliable weather forecasts and broadband communication as well as precision navigation and positioning. Only satellites can provide this. In addition the near real time data provided to ground stations in the North provide essential information about the environmental and territorial impact of human activity.
  • Space as business in the North.
  • Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) with its stations in Tromsø and on Svalbard provides services to satellite owners globally and is the largest space business in the North. Similarly the Andøya Rocket Range operates the dominant launch sites in the Arctic for scientific studies of the upper atmosphere. Companies like NORUT IT and Kongsberg Spacetec have a global position in their respective niche areas. These areas are closely related to the utilization of space data for monitoring of the Earth.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry through the Norwegian Space Centre places a high priority on increasing the quality and extent of the activities in all these three groups.
None of the important issues in the North can be resolved with space alone, but few, if any, can find their resolution without the use of space. This will require a further development of the Norwegian space industry to cater for both national and international needs.

bo n. andersen

Director General of the Norwegian Space Centre
© Norwegian Space Centre