Space offers new opportunities

Innovations and inventions arising from space research play a key role in people’s day-to-day lives and are utilised every day in fields ranging from geographic information services to communications. Finnish space expertise is known for high-quality space and atmospheric research and competence in electronics and software for space components. Finnish enterprises and research organisations have participated in the design and preparation of dozens of satellites.

The four key areas of Finnish space activities are:

  • scientific research into space and the Earth;
  • Earth observation;
  • satellite positioning; and
  • space industry.

In addition to traditional research organisations and equipment and application suppliers, the opportunities offered by the New Space Economy are attracting new players to the sector in Finland, too. New Space refers to space activities often carried out by operators that are new to the sector and typically commercially oriented and independent of the state. Small satellites and private launch services enable easier and less expensive access to space, and space applications are also used increasingly for purposes other than research needs, such as everyday positioning and telecommunications services. Remote sensing, satellite services and satellite positioning applications aim towards global business operations.

Finland became a space nation when Aalto University’s first nanosatellite was launched into space in summer 2017. Finland’s first commercial satellite, ICEYE’s SAR microsatellite, was sent into orbit in January 2018. Several other small-satellite projects are also underway.

Space activities are subject to authorisation

Provisions on space activities are laid down in the Act on Space Activities (63/2018) and the Decree of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on Space Activities (74/2018) enacted by virtue of the Act.

Space activities may be carried on only subject to prior authorisation by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Satellites and other space objects launched into outer space are registered in the registry of space objects maintained by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. 

Further information:

Maija Lönnqvist