The Swedish Institute of Space Physics or Institutet för rymdfysik ("IRF") is a Swedish government agency. The institute's primary task is to carry out basic research, education and associated observatory activities in space physics, space technology and atmospheric physics.
The IRF was founded in 1957 and the first Kiruna-designed satellite experiment was launched in 1968. The institute has about one hundred employees and has its head office in Kiruna. Other offices are situated in Umeå, Uppsala and Lund.
IRF, originally the Kiruna Geophysical Observatory, began as a department within the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It has been a public research institute since 1973, under the auspices of the Swedish Ministry of Education and Culture.
IRF participates in several international satellite projects. At present, data from satellite instruments are being analysed to help us better comprehend the plasma-physical processes in the solar wind and around comets and planets.
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