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Hope of North Bay Becoming Canada's First Spaceport Put on Hold

Swiss Space Systems (S3) SOAR spacecraft on Airbus carrier. Credit: S3.
Swiss media began reporting last week that Swiss Space Systems (S3), the company with aspirations of becoming a leader in suborbital launches of small satellites and zero-g flights for passengers and scientists, was declared bankrupt by a Swiss court. It’s an unfortunate turn of events for the company which had conducted some initial work in North Bay, and was considering the city as potential launching hub for part of its North American launch services.The news also come after an incident in September where the company’s CEO was the target of a violent attack which left him severely burned.

It was June 2014 that S3 announced it would be using North Bay’s Jack Garland Airport (YYB) and partnering with Canadore College.

S3 was developing an unmanned suborbital spaceplane, called SOAR, for small satellite deployment. SOAR would have been able to launch satellites up to 250 kg in size.

In November 2014 S3 completed it’s drop-test flight campaign in North Bay. S3 later announced it would perform Zero-G flight out of North Bay as well.

The company had planned an initial public offering (IPO) but in late December 2015 cancelled the IPO along with the zero-g flights.

S3 has until December 23rd to contest the Swiss court ruling. It’s unclear if S3 will come out of bankruptcy.

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceRef Canada Interactive Inc, CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef U.S., advisor and co-founder of the Canadian Space Commerce Association, and director and co-founder of MaxQ Accelerator Inc. Previously he was the founder of Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine which he sold.