Untitled Document
Kiruna, 2008-06-05

Press Invitation from IRF and Swedish Space Corporation

Mars technology on a balloon to fly over the Atlantic

An earlier balloon launch from Esrange Space Center (Photo: Swedish Space Corporation)

This Monday, 9 June, is the first possible date for the Swedish-Swiss space experiment MEAP/P-BACE to be launched from Swedish Space Corporation's launch facility Esrange Space Center outside Kiruna. The experiment, built by the University of Bern in Switzerland and the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), will fly for 5-6 days at an altitude of 40 km and land in Canada. The aim of the flight is to test a mass spectrometer that in the future can make measurements in the atmosphere at the surface of Mars.

Media are invited to attend the launch of MEAP

The first possible launch day is 9 June and the so-called "launch window" closes on 4 July. The balloon will be launched as soon as the right conditions prevail, and they are dependent primarily on weather and wind. Media who are interested in being present at the launch can be added to a list to be contacted as soon as a launch is planned. Information about an impending launch is usually sent out the day or evening before.

In addition, an information day about the balloon mission is planned for June 11. Media wishing to attend are welcome and are kindly asked to notify us via the contact phone number below.

Programme 11 June at Esrange Space Center

If the balloon launch takes place during this morning it will be included in the programme.

More information:

The MEAP project and the P-BACE instrument:
Rocket- and balloon launches:
Current activities at Esrange:
Press images: och
Earlier press release:
Read more about Swedish Space Corporation:
Read more about IRF:


Johanna Bergström-Roos, Head of Information, Esrange Space Center, Swedish Space Corporation
or Rick McGregor, Information Officer, Swedish Institute of Space Physics.
Tel: +46-980 790 77

2008-06-05, webmaster*

The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) is a governmental research institute which conducts research and postgraduate education in atmospheric physics, space physics and space technology. Measurements are made in the atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere and around other planets with the help of ground-based equipment (including radar), stratospheric balloons and satellites. IRF was established (as Kiruna Geophysical Observatory) in 1957 and its first satellite instrument was launched in 1968. The head office is in Kiruna (geographic coordinates 67.84° N, 20.41° E) and IRF also has offices in Umeå, Uppsala and Lund.

Institutet för rymdfysik, IRF, är ett statligt forskningsinstitut under Utbildningsdepartementet. IRF bedriver grundforskning och forskarutbildning i rymdfysik, atmosfärsfysik och rymdteknik. Mätningar görs i atmosfären, jonosfären, magnetosfären och runt andra planeter med hjälp av ballonger, markbaserad utrustning (bl a radar) och satelliter. För närvarande har IRF instrument ombord på satelliter i bana runt tre planeter, jorden, Mars och Saturnus. IRF har ca 100 anställda och bedriver verksamhet i Kiruna (huvudkontoret), Umeå, Uppsala och Lund.