Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Official inauguration of Swiss Space Systems Croatia, also Spaceport sites in Malaysia and Morocco
Official inauguration of Swiss Space Systems Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia (February 16, 2015).

S3, officially inaugurated its daughter company, Swiss Space Systems Croatia, in the presence of the Ambassador of Switzerland in Croatia, as well as representatives of the national and local authorities and international guests from the aerospace sector.

The company is located in Zagreb and Sladjan Zovko is its General Director. For the S3 Group, this inauguration represents a new important step in its expansion in Europe, as Croatia will play an important role in different parts of the S3 program. First activities of S3 Croatia will be the ZeroG flights, which are taking place in Croatia in the first half of 2016. In the longer term, Croatia is foreseen as an interesting location to operate. S3 Croatia also plans to build a spaceport infrastructure in Ubdina and will be involved in the development work on the upper-stage and its assembly, creating highly skilled jobs in the country. Moreover, S3 Croatia will play a role in Space Research and Education, involving the main universities and research centers from Croatia active in this field.

Swiss Space Systems (S3) is developing its activities and now counts more than 75 employees in Switzerland, Spain and the US. The engineering team, supported by their industrial and academic partners, is progressing on the Research & Development phase of a reusable, flexible, safe and affordable small satellite launching system, based on an Airbus aircraft carrying the SOAR sub-orbital shuttle on its back. The SOAR carries an expendable upper-stage, released at an altitude of 80 km to go up to 700 km and deliver the satellites in low earth orbit. After the launch it is disintegrated into the atmosphere without producing space debris. 2015 will be a crucial year for S3, with its first ZeroG flights and wind tunnel testing and a mock up flight test campaign leading to the end of its R&D phase. In Europe, S3 already counts on a strong network of industrial and institutional partners from France, Belgium, Italy and Spain. Now, this European network will be extended to Croatia with the inauguration of a daughter company in Zagreb as a first step.

Pascal Jaussi, CEO & founder of Swiss Space Systems with S3 Croatia

Croatia to play an important role in main parts of S3 overall program

The choice of expanding in Croatia is part of a strategic plan for S3, as Croatia will play an integral part in the different aspects of its project. Croatia has a lot of assets to be a future important aerospace player at the European level and Swiss Space Systems chose this country to expand their activities in Europe.

First activities of S3 Croatia will be the ZeroG flights to take place in the first half of 2016. Croatia has some interesting locations for future operations as well as satellite launches and, in the longer term, suborbital passenger flights. A project of Spaceport in Croatia based on the concept of the S3 Spaceport to be built in Switzerland is in its early stage, with possible location in Ubdina.


Croatia will play a role in the engineering of the upper-stage of S3 system. The upper-stage is currently being developed and designed by S3 in its Swiss headquarters with the help of its Russian partner RKK Energia, providing its propulsion systems. S3 Croatia will be implicated in work packages related to the development of the upper-stage, involving Croatian partners as well. The upper-stage is the only part of S3’s launching system that is not reusable, meaning that one unit has to be built for each satellite launch. This assembly-line production of upper-stages could later be done in the spaceport facilities, which would create a significant number of high-skilled jobs. S3 will then rely on facilities in Spain for the integration and testing of the upper-stage, and for processing of its payload in a clean-room prior to the launch campaign, thanks to its Spanish partners.

In addition to these industrial activities, S3 Croatia will play a role in Space Research and Education activities, involving the main universities and research centers of the country for applied research, education as well as aerospace technology testing in the field of small satellites.

Sladjan Zovko, General Director of Swiss Space Systems Croatia outlines: “All these industrial as well as Education & Research activities are important for Croatia in order to develop its aerospace activities. The goal is to make of the new member of the European Space Agency that is Croatia a country with a strong aerospace sector and Swiss Space Systems Croatia wants to act as a catalyst in order to reach this goal. A Spaceport in Croatia will definitely bring an added value in this regard.”

“This is a win-win collaboration for Swiss Space Systems and Croatia and I look forward to the next steps. S3 always wants to develop long term partnerships and Croatia is definitely another good example as Swiss Space Systems Croatia will play an important role in main aspects of the S3 program: ZeroG, future operations, engineering work and assembly of the upper-stage as well as research & education. This is another milestone in S3 short history, with many more to come in 2015 and beyond.” stated Pascal Jaussi, founder and CEO of Swiss Space Systems Holding.

Swiss Space Systems and Spaceport Malaysia: a win-win partnership

Swiss Space Systems and Spaceport Malaysia had the opportunity to sign a Memorandum Of Understanding during the official launch of S3 on march 13. S3 had the opportunity to come to Malaysia to discuss concrete measures with its partners as well as the governmental entities, and to see the progress of the construction works of the future Spaceport.

For Swiss Space Systems, the idea of “space for all” takes all its meaning when we see this strong partnership with Malaysia. This market possesses a lot of strengths, and looks to develop activities in aerospace, in particular with Spaceport Malaysia. Its geographic position makes it a perfect launch location for Swiss Space Systems, with Spaceport Malaysia giving S3 the possibility to operate. The infrastructure will include a spaceflight terminal, as well as a S3 Centre of Excellence and a housing project with space-architecture concept.

Richard Joye, Head of Business Development had the opportunity to go to Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru where he was host to the heads of aerospace activities. He could also see the progress of some of the construction works due for completion in June 2013. An important hangar is already planned for the Airbus A-300 and the SOAR shuttle. As Norul Ridzuan Zakaria, Founder of Spaceport Malaysia outlines it:  “We believe this system being developed will be reliable, and we think there will be opportunities for Spaceport Malaysia and Swiss Space Systems to grow mutually.”
This first partnership in regards to a Spaceport is a good example of mutual benefits. With the Spaceport being built, S3 has an access to the sea, in order to operate. For Spaceport Malaysia, the presence of S3 is an asset and will allow a technology transfer between the two countries.

Besides Malaysia, discussions are at an advanced stage with other potential partner countries such as Morocco, Canada and Ecuador.

(from left to right) Norul Ridzuan Zakaria - President of Spaceport Malaysia, 
Noor Azizee Abd Aziz - Principal architect of Spaceport Malaysia, 
 Dato'  Nasri Nasrun - CEO of Spaceport Malaysia,
 Richard Joye - Head of Business Development at Swiss Space Systems

Official Launch Video

Swiss Space Systems - S3 was officially inaugurated in Payerne on March 13 in the presence of representatives of the national authorities, dignitaries and diplomatic representatives of eight countries. Relive this special day alongside Pascal Jaussi, founder of S3, who was happy to share his vision of what his company stands for.

He and the S3 Team were also glad to welcome the swiss and international partners who all came to Payerne to explain how they will contribute to this unique project: Prof. Claude Nicollier, Professor EPFL, S3 Experts Board, Dr. Constantinos Stavrinidis, Head of the Mechanical Department, Directorate of Technical and Quality Management, European Space Agency (ESA), Michel Milecan, Sales and Business Development Director Sonaca (Belgium), Richard Aked, Director, Space Application Services (Belgium), Augusto Caramagno, Head of Aerospace System Engineering Deimos Space (Spain), Norul Ridzuan Zakaria, Founder and President Spaceport Malaysia, HE Mohammed Said Benryane, Official representative of the Kingdom of Morocco, Prof. Dr. Juan Alonso, Aerospace Design Laboratory Stanford University (USA), Prof. Jean-Pierre Contzen, Head of the Board of the Directors of the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (Belgium) and BenoĆ®t Dussaugey, International General Manager Dassault Aviation (France).         


"Other countries such as Malaysia and Morocco, announced during the conference that they would be partnering with S3 in order to build spaceports in their countries too and discussions are under way with several other potential partners...[Canada and Ecuador]"

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