The History of Finnish Space Activities
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Finland started its first space-related hardware programme in 1985.
10 years later Finland was ready to join the European Space Agency. However, space-related, ground-based activities had been going on in Finland for nearly 160 years before it became an active member of the club of space-faring nations. This book gives some background perspectives on this development and describes the first steps taken in Finland immediately after the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957.
The history of the development of space activities in Finland is quite unique. One of the key political drivers was integration with European activities in general. Besides joining ESA as a full member in 1995, Finland also joined the EU in the same year. To balance between activites in East and West, Finland signed an intergovernmental agreement on peaceful space co-operation with the Soviet Union in 1987, the same year that Finland became an associate member of ESA.
This work has been done in two stages. First, a comprehensive version of space history was published in Finnish in 2004 and the work was then continued to achieve the final goal of an international version of Finland's space history. The two books produced are essentially different in nature, the first being more oriented towards the national history of science and technology in Finland while the second places Finnish efforts and achievements in amore international perspective. Aspects of political history have been dealt with by Ilkka Seppinen, while Professor Risto Pellinen has been responsible for the space science component.