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IDEAS and Spaceport Sweden Complete Feasibility and Concept Study

IDEAS and Spaceport Sweden Complete Feasibility and Concept Study

Spaceport Sweden, is proud to announce, together with Kiruna Lapland, the completion of a feasibility and concept study by IDEAS, a world leading media and experience design company, for the development of a Space Visitor & Science Center to further strengthen the development of Kiruna a leading space destination.

Spaceport Sweden was inaugurated in 2007 by the former Minister of Enterprise and has been hard at work establishing commercial human spaceflight and offering innovative space adventures in Sweden, with the vision of becoming Europe’s gateway to space.

Kiruna and Spaceport Sweden were selected by the Swedish Government, through the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, as one of five locations in Sweden with the potential to develop into a sustainable and internationally competitive destination – because of its already rich destination offerings, its space heritage and its pioneering efforts to establish space tourism and manned spaceflight as an emerging industry.

As a baseline for the work, primary research was made to estimate annual attendance for Spaceport Sweden. IDEAS Founder Bob Allen summed up the effort; “Our comprehensive design process began with reliable awareness and preference data from a study fielded in key European markets as the baseline for the concept. Building a destination experience based on a known audience and clear market preferences is essential. There is no question that Spaceport Sweden can continue to develop into a unique portal to adventure travel and a European base for the emerging commercial and personal space flight industry.”

IDEAS team members include: market analytics firm Integrated Insight, Inc.; immersive entertainment designers at Exline Design and Architecture; space industry advisors at Hurricane Communications and Consulting; and destination operations and project management consulting firm Blackhorse Worldwide.

“Spaceport Sweden clearly has proven it has the potential to be a world-class, space-oriented attraction, drawing 145,000 annual visitors. The uniqueness of the facility and location, the authenticity of our space attractions, and the ability to be the tourism hub for Kiruna will enable Spaceport Sweden to become a top tourist destination in Swedish Lapland” says Karin Nilsdotter, CEO Spaceport Sweden.

The early concept that emerged includes a unique “Earth and Sky Center” as a hub for the experience, bringing space exploration to life in the context of planet earth through immersive, interactive and participatory exhibits and programs (video below). The complex is envisioned to bring true adventurers access to space as innovative companies like Virgin Galactic, XCOR and others establish themselves in Kiruna. Other activities offered could include a free-fall wind tunnel experience, a weightless flight experience, astronaut training, launching a high-altitude balloon with a retrievable camera, or a flight in an experimental aircraft.

Commercial human spaceflight is in its infancy but industry research forecasts of the global suborbital industry shows baseline demand for about 400 seats in year one of flight operations, potentially rising to over 1,000 in a growth scenario. Models of this demand plus the growth of satellite launch business drive significant direct economic impact. Spaceport Sweden is advantaged over other entrants in commercial spaceflight in that there is already a viable regional airport serving as the base of operation in close proximity to Esrange Space Center.

“Kiruna is already a remarkable destination. It really is the gateway to adventure and there are things available here that are not possible anywhere else in the world, from touring the largest underground iron mine on the planet to seeing the northern lights as part of an exploration of hundreds of kilometers of pristine arctic wilderness by foot, snowmobile, dogsled and ski,” commented Duncan Kennedy, IDEAS VP of Innovation. “This amazing place is quite literally on the top of the world.”

“With the study completed, a strengthened Spaceport Sweden can now move forward towards agreements with key partners, further develop the outreach to tourism marketing partners and continue the effort to create a regulatory and business environment that welcomes the commercial space industry”, says Karin Nilsdotter

About the project, sustainable tourism destination development: The tourism industry is one of Sweden’s fastest growing industries where the national objective is to double the industry turnover, revenue, jobs and visitors until the year 2020. As part of this, the Swedish Government has initiated a national project to help develop sustainable and competitive world-class destinations where of which Kiruna has been selected among 40 other destinations, much due to the potential of space tourism.

About Spaceport Sweden: Spaceport Sweden is a pioneering initiative for commercial human spaceflight in Sweden and Europe’s gateway to space, a center for excellence and cross-industry innovation. Located in Kiruna, Swedish Lapland, Europe’s premier space city since 1957, Spaceport Sweden work together with selected partners to offer customers unique world-class space adventures and learning experiences, further supplying launch infrastructure, R&D facilities and high-tech expertise to commercial space operators. Spaceport Sweden offer today learning space adventures such as Northern Light Flights, Zero-G Flights and Spaceflight Preparation and Centrifuge Training. For more visit

About IDEAS: Located in downtown Orlando Florida, IDEAS is media and experience design company using the central premise that powerful stories create powerful experiences. IDEAS creates products for healthcare, corporate, government, and entertainment clients worldwide as well as creating its own intellectual property. The team at IDEAS has more than 400 years aggregate experience in experience design, brand repositioning, training, and media creation. For more about IDEAS visit


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As COO of IDEAS, John manages the day-to-day operations of the company. He is a category expert in studio production and is responsible for bringing advanced digital media technology to IDEAS.