Swiss Space Systems is planning to debut low-cost satellite launches at a quarter of the current market rates, aiming for ten million Swiss francs (8.1 million euros, $10.5 million). The company will use unmanned suborbital spaceplanes that has the ability to carry satellites weighing up to 250 kilos (550 pounds).
The Swiss company said that its mission is to give access to space and to democratize space access by giving power to emerging countries, markets, universities and research institutes to perform actions that has not been possible for them up to this day, which is to deploy their own satellites.
Swiss Space Systems added that it has a budget of 225 million Swiss francs and targets to begin test launches four years from now. The company, headed by Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier, said that it had already secured technological cooperation deals with companies and agencies such as Dassault Aviation, European Space Agency (ESA), Sonaca and the Von Karman Institute.
Swiss Space Systems added that the plan of launching a low-cost satellite service was rooted in the reusable nature of the spaceplane and other launch facilities, and that the consumption of fuel would be dramatically less compared to conventional systems.
The company plans on opening the spaceport come 2015 at the Payerne airfield in western Switzerland.
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