Swiss Space Systems

They’ve gone belly up, but this is bizarre:

The news comes at the end of a difficult year for S3.

In August its founder and CEO, Pascal Jaussi, was left seriously injured after being beaten up and set on fire by two attackers in a forest.

The media reported at the time that Jaussi was forced to drive his car into a forest, where he was doused in petrol and set on fire. He managed to get himself out of the vehicle and call a friend, who alerted emergency services.

The investigation is ongoing.

The space business can be dangerous, but I’d sure like to know the back story here.

4 thoughts on “Swiss Space Systems”

  1. The first questions are, …who was S3 a provider for, and who were their competitors, both for S3 and S3’s customers? The next question would be, …what are the implications of specific tech that S3 was pushing for the market? Only last in line would be questions about their President’s personal life and complications of it. Those normally would not provoke attempts on the business itself.

  2. I gave S3 the benefit of the doubt because I thought their approach (subsonic air-launch) had significant merit. However, after talking to Jaussi in 2013, my enthusiasm was dulled by two things: firstly, their approach seemed to be similar to a cooperative, where no money would be exchanged but partners would deliver their ‘components’ for assembly by the ‘system’ team; and secondly, their engine was the last piece of the jigsaw to be included (to be provided by a Russian institute), which seemed to be a totally backwards way of designing the system.

    The fact that they have made little progress over the last 3 years, despite their recent announcement of procuring an A340 for microgravity flights, suggests that this was a poorly executed business plan. The violent attack on Jaussi simply adds another layer of mystery to the story of this sad business venture.

  3. Well the Canton of Vaud is basically the place with the lowest taxes in all of Switzerland. I never put much faith into this venture. It seemed like someone who wanted to copy the Scaled Composites business model who only had a bunch of CGI presentations. They probably expected that with enough money the problem would solve itself. That is seldom the case on a technology intensive business like this. What happened is that they ran out of money including 30 million USD from an Iranian resident in Dubai according to Wikipedia. Yeah I think they messed with the wrong people…

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