Press release

Swiss Space Systems develops its activities in Spain and strengthens its network of Spanish partners


  • Elecnor and its technology brand, Elecnor Deimos, have participated in the creation of the new company
Gran Canary (Spain) — December 12, 2013. The aerospace company, Swiss Space Systems (S3), officially inaugurated its daughter company, S3 Spain, in the presence of the Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism M. Jose Manuel Soria Lopez, representatives of the local and national authorities as well as international guests. The company will be run by Augusto Caramagno. Swiss Space Systems Group already has a partnership with both Elecnor and its technology branch, Elecnor Deimos, but the new S3 Company represents another important step in the development of its activities in Spain. Sener and Aernnova Engineering are also joining-in, and the 4 companies are forming an “Association of partners” of S3-Spain. The new Spanish entity will play a key role in the engineering of the sub-orbital flight system, as well as in the manufacturing of the Upper-stage. The Canary region will be the first European operations center as S3 will launch satellites from there in 2018. This will also be the first European location where S3 will operate Zero-G flights.

Swiss Space Systems (S3) is developing its activities and now counts with more than 50 employees in Switzerland and the US. The engineering team, helped by their industrial and academic partners, is progressing on the Research & Development phase of the small satellite launching system, based on an Airbus aircraft carrying the SOAR sub-orbital shuttle on its back. During the last quarter of 2013, the company developed partnerships in the US and established subsidiaries there. It also signed a partnership with the Russian Bauman University and is developing its network in this country.

In Europe, S3 already counts with a strong network of industrial and institutional partners from France, Belgium, Italy and Spain. Elecnor and its technology branch Elecnor Deimos are the first such partners from Spain, in charge of Mission Engineering and of the Guidance Navigation Control system of the SOAR. S3 will also rely on facilities in Spain for the integration and testing of the upper-stage, and for processing of its payload in a clean-room prior to the launch campaign.

Important developments in Spain for S3 helped by its prestigious Spanish partners

S3 established a company in Spain to pursue its targets in the European market. The company will be run by Augusto Caramagno, currently in charge of Business Development of Southern Europe and Africa for S3 Holding. Augusto previously worked for Elecnor Deimos and has extensive knowledge of the aerospace stakeholders in Spain and beyond. “Spain represents a destination of choice for S3 to achieve its objectives, both in terms of engineering and operations” outlines Augusto Caramagno “The main reasons for that lay in the maturity and track record of the Spanish aerospace sector, and the availability of airport infrastructure at various suitable locations for S3 operations”. The company aims to create 80 permanent jobs between now and 2017 considering the activities planned for S3-Spain and its partners.

In order to reinforce its presence in the country, S3 Spain will count on a strong network of partners of its own. Besides Elecnor and Elecnor Deimos, Sener and Aernnova Engineering have both signed agreements with S3. Sener and Elecnor Deimos will cooperate with S3 on the design of the on-board control system, while Aernnova Engineering will contribute to the aero-structure of the S3 system.

These companies intend to form an “Association of Partners of S3” to coordinate their efforts on the European market. “It is important to be on the same page to help develop the S3 project. We, as Spanish partners, are supporting S3 in the Engineering of the sub-orbital flight system (SFS)” said Diego Rodríguez, SENER Space and Defense Director. 

"For Elecnor Deimos it is of paramount importance to be a core partner of S3, the most ambitious project to design the future of the commercial space transportation" outlines Miguel Belló Mora, CEO of Elecnor Deimos


Spain will serve as European operations center for S3

The Payerne (Switzerland) S3 headquarters will remain the place where the main Research & Development is being conducted. The manufacturing of the elements and subsystems of the SOAR and upper-stage will be done by partners abroad, in Spain among other countries. The assembly, integration and initial tests of the shuttle will be conducted in Payerne. 

The Canary Islands region represents a perfect location to have test facilities for subsystems, mock-up, engines and complete system flight tests in 2017. A Spaceport would be built there for the integration of satellites with the SFS and first commercial launches in 2018. This infrastructure could also offer sub-orbital manned flights in a later phase. Before these launches, Gran Canary will also be a key area for S3, as it will be the first European location for Zero-G flights to be operated for research and leisure purposes. S3’s decision for the Canary Islands was motivated by the high level of support received from the “Sociedad de Promoción de Gran Canaria (SPEGC)”.


Photo caption: 

From left to right: Gerardo Morales, CEO of Sodecan; Pascal Jaussi, CEO and Founder of S3 Holding; José Manuel Soria, Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism; Augusto Caramagno, Business Development of Southern Europe and Africa for S3 Holding; José Miguel Bravo de Laguna, President of the Council of Gran Canary.


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