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Swiss SOAR Space Plane Project Expands Technical Partnerships

S3’s SOAR shuttle concept would be launched from a Zero-G certified Airbus A300. Credit: S3

Swiss space plane, SOAR. Credit: S3

Swiss Space Systems (S3) is on a quest to manufacture, certify and operate automated suborbital spaceplanes for small satellite deployment.

S3 has announced they have partnered with Bauman Moscow State Technical University (BMSTU) adding to its cadre of technical advisors. The Cooperation with BMSTU will enable the exchange of academicals between Russia and Switzerland to push forward on the international project.

BMSTU adds to the roster of technical advisors that includes the European Space Agency as well as the Aerospace Design Lab of Stanford University.

S3’s SOAR shuttle concept would be launched from a Zero-G certified Airbus A300. The spaceplane’s suborbital trajectory takes it to a high altitude above Earth. From that height an expendable upper stage is released that nudges small satellites – up to 250 kilograms – into Earth orbit.

After payload release, the SOAR mini-shuttle would glide back to ground for a tarmac touchdown.

Thanks to the reusability of the carrier aircraft and the shuttle, only the upper stage is expendable.

S3 was officially launched as a company in March 2013. A mock up test flight is slated for next year. An S3 spaceport inauguration is to take place in 2015 and the start of the test flights is planned for 2017, according to the aerospace firm.

Swiss Space Systems Holding SA is a Swiss company founded in Payerne in 2012.

A 3D animated video clip explains how the S3 launching system of small satellites would work.

Go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=baYMrHnNB44

By Leonard David

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