[Via Satellite 02-18-2015] Swiss Space Systems (S3) has inaugurated a new subsidiary in Croatia, where the company hopes to build a spaceport as well as a facility for manufacturing the upper stage of the SOAR launch vehicle.
S3’s suborbital SOAR shuttle is a reusable small satellite launch vehicle currently in Research and Development (R&D). The system is designed to fly on the back of an Airbus aircraft, and at an altitude of 80 kilometers an expendable upper stage is released to carry satellites into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This year S3 plans to begin zero gravity flights, wind tunnel testing and a mock-up flight test campaign that will conclude the R&D phase.
S3 is working with Russian partner RKK Energia to develop the upper stage propulsion system at its Swiss headquarters. The Croatia subsidiary will be responsible for work packages related to the development of the upper-stage and, in the future, could manufacture them at the planned Ubdina spaceport. The subsidiary will also collaborate with universities and research centers for small satellite aerospace technology testing.
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