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Andøya


Andøya Rocket Range (69.3°N / 16.0°E)

The building of a rocket range in the North part of Norway was decided by the Ministry of Defense in March 1960. Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (NDRE) was authorized in launching small American sounding rockets for geophysical and astrophysical researches. The first launches of Nike Cajun rockets were carried out in 1962 from a summarily arranged facility at Andøya, and until 1965, the range was occupied only at the time of the launching campaigns.

Late 1962, ESRO being aware that the rocket range which it had planned to build at Kiruna, Sweden, could not be operational before the autumn 1965, decided to use an alternative septentrional base. Although Norway was not member of ESRO, the choice was made on Andøya whose installations were already available. The agreement, planning the launches of French Centaur and Dragon rockets, was signed in 1965. The first six ESRO rockets were launched from Andøya in the first quarter of 1966 and four rockets were launched on behalf of CNES the same year. Late 1966, the ESRANGE at Kiruna was opened and the ESRO campaigns were moved there. In spite of this competition, Andøya Rocket Range (ARR) continued to be used regularly for bilateral or international sounding rockets programs.

In 1972, after ten years of operation, the score reached 104 launches of which 102 realized in co-operation. Since this date, the range has been supported through a Special Project Agreement under which it is maintained by and made available to some ESA states. It is also operated for commercial and bilateral programs.

The ARR, which is now managed by Norwegian Space Center, comprises eight launch pads including an universal ramp able to launch rockets weighing up to 20 tons. It was in particular used for the launch of a 5.4 tons Black Brant XII rocket in 1995.

In 1982, 4 Nike Tomahawk rockets were launched from a mobile base at Haugnes (69.28°N and 16.18°E). Since 1997, Norway also has a mobile base at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard (78.92°N and 11.93°E); four rockets were launched there this year. Other launches - American and Japanese rockets - are planned.


Launches from Andøya
Detailed list

YearTotalInstr.Detail
1962333 Nike Cajun
1963221 Nike Apache, 1 Nike Cajun
1964333 Nike Apache
196512126 Arcas, 6 Nike Apache
196612126 Centaure, 4 Dragon, 2 Nike Apache
196715154 Arcas, 3 Dragon, 2 Nike Apache, 6 Nike Tomahawk
1968991 Arcas, 1 Dragon, 2 Nike Apache, 5 Nike Tomahawk
196915159 Arcas, 2 Centaure, 2 Dragon, 1 Nike Apache, 1 Nike Cajun
197012121 Arcas, 2 Black Brant 4, 5 Black Brant 5, 1 Nike Cajun, 3 Nike Tomahawk
1971441 Nike Cajun, 3 Nike Tomahawk
197217171 Cuckoo Zenith, 2 Nike Apache, 2 Nike Cajun, 2 Nike Tomahawk, 7 Petrel, 3 Skua
197323232 Black Brant 5, 3 Nike Tomahawk, 14 Petrel, 4 Skylark
1974441 Black Brant 4, 2 Nike Tomahawk, 1 Skylark
1975111 Nike Cajun
1976772 Fulmar, 2 Nike Tomahawk, 2 Skylark, 2 Terrier Malemute
197715153 Fulmar, 3 Nike Tomahawk, 1 Petrel, 8 Skylark
1978992 Nike Apache, 3 Nike Tomahawk, 1 Orion, 3 Skylark
1979221 Fulmar, 1 Petrel
198036183 Nike Apache, 3 Nike Orion, 2 Nike Tomahawk, 3 Orion, 4 Taurus Orion, 3 Skua?
1981111 Nike Tomahawk
1982444 Nike Tomahawk (Haugnes)
19833721 Nike Orion, 1 Terrier Malemute
198499109 Nike Orion, 1 Skylark
1985221 Black Brant 9, 1 Skylark
1986111 Black Brant 10
198793174 Arcas, 10 Nike Orion, 3 Orion
19881441 Black Brant 5, 1 Black Brant 10, 2 Skylark
1989111 Black Brant 10
19909281 Black Brant 5, 6 Nike Orion, 1 S-520
19912676 Nike Orion, 1 S-520
1992210 
1993722 Nike Orion
19941971 Black Brant 9, 3 Nike Orion, 2 S-310,1 S-520
19951311 Black Brant 12
1996 33 Viper 3A (MiniDusty)
1997 31 Terrier I-Orion, 1 VS30, 1 Viper 3A (MiniDusty)
1998 11 VS30
19993872 Black Brant 5, 1 Black Brant 12, 1 I-Orion, 3 Viper 3A (MiniDusty/MiniMidas)
2000742 I-Orion, 1 SS-520, 1 Viper 3A (MiniMidas)


Launches from Ny-Ålesund

YearTotalDetail
199742 Black Brant, 1 Rohini 300 (Isbjorn), 1 Minidusty


External resources
Andøya Rocket Range
Norwegian Space Center
Norwegian Space Center: Andøya Rocket Range
NASA Sounding Rockets Launch Log


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Please contact Jean-Jacques Serra <JJ.Serra@wanadoo.fr> for comments, corrections or questions