Swiss Space Systems to Launch 28 Satellites for Spacepharma

SOAR spaceplane atop an A-300. (Credit: S3)
SOAR spaceplane atop an A-300. (Credit: S3)

Delémont, Switzerland, 30 September 2013 (S3 PR) — The aerospace company S3 and the Spacepharma SA enterprise, specialised in solutions for medical experiments in microgravity, announce today the signature of a contract relating to the launch of four small satellites in 2018, followed by a monthly launch over two years, making a total of 28 planned launches.

This is an important step for S3, who is also in advanced discussions in relation to other launches. Spacepharma intends to become a world leader in the market for researches into microgravity for the life science industries. In S3, the company has found a partner which will permit it to place its satellites in orbit thanks to its system, which is efficient, flexible, reliable, and economical.

With the Research & Development phase of its satellite launch system well advanced, S3 announces today the signature of a significant launch contract with Spacepharma SA, the Swiss company specialised in laboratory solutions in microgravity for the life science industries. This contract relates to putting four small satellites into orbit in 2018, followed by one satellite per month for a period of two years. It is a major agreement which demonstrates the significance of the largely reusable launch system developed by S3, which has won over the management of Spacepharma.

Satellites placed in orbit for medical experiments in microgravity

The satellites placed in orbit by S3 for Spacepharma will have a weight of 5 kg; they are based on Cubesats, which are being increasingly used in the industry, with later developments up to 50 kg. They will be destined for experiments in exomedicine. This booming scientific discipline consists of studying and exploring medical solutions in a zero-gravity spatial environment, in order to then apply them on earth, notably in the form of new medications. This unique environment in fact allows research to be advanced with results which cannot be achieved in any other environment. The aim of Spacepharma SA is to become a world leader in this domain, and in order to this, it offers a complete service (requirements definition, design, prototype, development, and operations on the ground and in space). The company, based in Delémont, in what is known as the “Bio Valley” of Basel, has a subsidiary based in Israel which is dedicated to Research & Development. The collaboration between S3 and Spacepharma will also apply to the engineering for the ground stations for the future space laboratories going into orbit from 2018.

A partnership between two innovative companies which are both Swiss and international

This partnership with S3 is intended to help Spacepharma SA to achieve this ambitious objective, as the company’s founder Yossi Yamin underlines: “Just like us, S3 is an ambitious, innovative Swiss organisation with an international dimension. We are delighted to see S3 put our satellites into orbit using its launch system which is efficient, flexible, and reliable, and allows lasting and more economical access to space.”

S3 is also very pleased to have a customer who is a cutting edge company in an area of medicine which is growing significantly. As Pascal Jaussi, founder and CEO of S3, puts it: “The aim of our company is to make space more accessible, especially for innovative companies who are developing new satellite applications, and who are looking for an affordable launch. This partnership is a call to others to enter the market of zero-gravity medicine to the growth of which S3 is making a huge contribution.”