Ambitious design of space shuttle from Switzerland.


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What is the first to come in mind when you hear about the cosmic shuttle? It is clear that recall a reusable American shuttle «Space Shuttle» and the Soviet reusable shuttle «Buran». And in principle, did any other countries think about the conquest of outer space using reusable shuttles? Unlikely. Although there were such. For example, there was a draft British space shuttle. Well, okay, albeit British. It is clear that this country at least somehow in cooperation with the United States or with the European Space Agency could create such a cosmic reusable shuttle. Where did not go, as they say. But that is not all.

Another country that wanted to enter the list of cosmic powers was Switzerland. It is understandable, the country is clearly non-heedy and his «place under the sun» in the Space Arenas of the Switzerland also wanted. The company «S3» from Switzerland in the distant 2013 had ambitious plans to create an unmanned mini-shuttle of SOAR, which could rise to a suburbital height and take into orbit around the Earth up to 250 kg of payload. But it is not easy to remove it, but to have an overclocking unit on board, on which the useful load would be fixed. According to the plan, the overclocking unit would start from the shuttle after the set of height 80 km.

It is noteworthy that the company «S3» was initially signed a contract with the RCC «Energia» to develop this acceleration unit. In addition, the shuttle itself was supposed to be equipped with Russian rocket engines from the RCC «Energy» NK-39. It was planned to start running according to the following scheme. Unmanned shuttle, well, or, we call his device, was to be fixed on the Airbus A300 aircraft. This plane took off from the airport and rose to a sufficient height of more than 10-12 km. Further, on the unmanned apparatus, Russian Rocket engines NK-39 would be included and, repeat, the device would raise an increase in the subborubital height of 80 km.

From this height, a accelerated block would be produced with a payload and it would be raised by this overclocking unit of payload at the estimated orbit. It would not be obtained not as expensive launch, especially for commercial launches of small satellites for observation. Customers could be both commercial organizations and higher educational institutions. It was planned that since 2016, the prototype prototype SOAR shuttle was started. It should have been discarded from a high height and carry out an unmanned automatic landing at the airport.

In addition, the company «S3» planned in cooperation with the French aerospace company «Thales Alenia Space» to create a variant of this shuttle for the flights of people into space. The SOAR passenger version was not used for tourism, but as a new type of transport. But all these ambitious plans were not destined to come true. Despite the fact that «S3» has created subsidiaries to use the runway of airports in Croatia, the United Arab Emirates, and in the USA, the J. Standa Cosmodrome on Cape Canaveral, this did not save the company from bankruptcy.

Very sad and very sorry that this, at first glance, a promising project remained on paper and was not implemented in reality.

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