Swiss Space Systems Expands Into Croatia

Swiss_Space_Systems_logoZAGREB, Croatia, February 16, 2015 (S3 PR) — The aerospace company, Swiss Space Systems (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.

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.

About Swiss Space Systems

Swiss Space Systems Holding SA is a Swiss company founded in Payerne. It combines and supervises the activities of its affiliate companies in Switzerland, Spain, Croatia and the US. The objective of the S3 group is to develop, build, certify, and operate suborbital shuttles for the deployment of satellites up to 250 kg. The Group currently has 75 employees, and its global budget up to the first satellite launch is around 250 million Swiss francs.