Sweden’s latest astronaut in space
The Government is looking to advance Sweden’s position in the space sector, and overnight Marcus Wandt became the third Swede in space. Following a successful launch from Florida, he began his journey to the International Space Station.
In April 2023, the Government tasked the Swedish National Space Agency with coordinating and facilitating the participation of a Swedish project astronaut in a mission to the International Space Station (ISS), as part of cooperation within the European Space Agency (ESA). The Swedish National Space Agency and the ESA were then able to sign a letter of intent with the US company Axiom Space on participation in a planned mission to the ISS. In June 2023 it was announced that Marcus Wandt had been selected to take part in the mission. The launch took place at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United States yesterday, 18 January, at 22.49 (Swedish time).
“The significance of space, from both a scientific and an economic perspective, will only increase. Sweden is a small country, but it has an ambitious agenda. Sending Marcus Wandt into space is a part of Sweden’s enhanced ambitions in this area. The Government also wants to strengthen Sweden as an engineering nation, and Marcus Wandt could inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists,” says Minister for Education Mats Persson.
Marcus Wandt will spend two weeks aboard the ISS. He will be involved in two experiments on behalf of Sweden – one on stem cells for Uppsala University and one on ergonomics for the Royal Institute of Technology. He will also take part in around twenty international experiments in areas such as material physics, life science and biotechnology.