Finland became a member of COSPAR (Committee on Space Research) in 1964. During the 60s, satellite communication and use of Earth observation satellites’ data and images began in Finland.
The 70s paved the way for future space activities. For example, the development of radio technologies and Earth magnetic field research formed the basis for Finland’s space weather knowhow.
The first significant Finnish space project took place in the 80s when the Russian Phobos-1 probe received a plasm analysator, Aspera. It was developed through Swedish-Russian-Finnish cooperation. Aspera was launched to Mars in 1988. During the 80s, Finnish space science also expanded to component manufacturing and satellite positioning. In 1987, Finland became an associate member of ESA and increased its cooperation with Russia.
In 1995, Finland received a full ESA membership and was accepted to ESA’s technology programmes. After joining ESA, Finland’s space activities focused strongly on European cooperation. Today Finnish companies have participated in the manufacturing of 20 satellites.
During the ESA membership, approximately 30 Finnish companies have embarked on space activities. In addition, the membership has opened doors to international research projects for Finnish universities and research organisations.
The 90s further strengthened Finland’s international cooperation. Since then Finland has worked closely with, for example, NASA and the space organisations of Denmark, France, Russia, Sweden and the Netherlands.