Swiss Space Systems Declares Bankruptcy

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

A court in the Swiss canton of Vaud declared Swiss Space Systems (S3) bankrupt last Wednesday, according to media reports.

S3 has been developing an air-launch satellite booster and had planned to offer parabolic aircraft flights to the public later this year.

The bankruptcy declaration comes after nearly two years of financial difficulties. Members of the U.S. office departed the company at the end of 2015 after going much of the year without being paid.

Founder and CEO Pascal Jaussi was hospitalized in August with serious burns. He told authorities two men forced him to drive to a remote area where they doused him with gasoline and set him on fire.

Swiss Space Systems CEO Set on Fire

Swiss_Space_Systems_logoSwiss Space Systems CEO Pascal Jaussi is recovering in the hospital after being set on fire by unknown assailants, according to media reports. He suffered burns over 25 percent of his body.

According to the Tribune de Genéve newspaper, Jaussi was abducted and taken to a wooded area in canton Fribourg where he was doused in inflammable liquid and set on fire. The canton’s prosecution service told the Swiss News Agency on Monday that it had opened an investigation into the incident that took place on August 26.

The Tribune reported that Jaussi had been in touch with police in recent months about threats he had received about his work with Swiss Space Systems.

The company has been developing an air-launched system to place small satellites into orbit. It also plans to introduce microgravity flights aboard a modified airliner later this year.

Swiss Space Systems has had financial difficulties. Its American office was closed last year. Sources said U.S. based personnel had no been paid for much of 2015. They also report that the company had difficulty making payroll in Switzerland.