Get into the rocket, put your seatbelt on, take a big breath and say goodbye to Earth because now we’re going to space! Yes, our next stop in the North was “out of this world”, Ok, ok… not literally, but you get me, right? 🙂
Did you know Kiruna is the Capital of the Swedish space industry? Well if you are interested in studies or research about space, earth, planets, engineering, science or any other related field, Luleå University of Technology’s Space Campus is the place to be, and off course we went to check it out.
Plenty of innovative projects are going on there and students from all around the globe have joined one of the many programs available. Also in the Space Campus is located the Swedish Institute of Space Physics and some students can collaborate with them for specific assignments or stay after their master for a PHD.
But what make this place so special to study space? According to what we learned, Kiruna is located in the aurora zone, having first hand access to many of the astronomic phenomenon’s that occurs in the surroundings. Also is equipped with the latest technology that allows students get involve in complex works and, off course: there’s a launch site nearby (the place from when ballons and rockets take off to space), seems like the whole package for me!.
During our visit we also experienced zero gravity (caution: not for people who gets dizzy) and created a cloud in a bottle; saw a satellite made by students, a model of the current Swedish satellite that is orbiting in space and visited the world strongest antenna (1, 2, 3 testing, testing universe can you hear me?) it was awesome. Ah! almost forgot to mention: students have free access through the university to the data collected by this antenna. *dancing emoji*
Living in the Arctic can be challenging, specially in the winter time (doble the cold, doble the dark) but is also very rewarding, we talked with many students during our visit and they all agree about the strong sense of community built between each other and a big highlight: you get to experience Swedish Lapland life first hand, I mean how awesome would it be to work on a project with the northern lights or polar clouds in the background.
The clock marked time to say goodbye, 48 hours in the Swedish Lapland and despite all the things that happened we wanted stay longer, but the Campus Tour had to be continued and Luleå was next on the list.
Meanwhile we went back to the train station and after already mastering the art of walking in icy roads we waited for the train hoping the wind would not blow us away.