Things to do With an A300 - Launch Satellites

Check out Aviation Week's On Space blog for more on newly formed Swiss Space Systems' (S3) plans to orbit small satellites using an Airbus A300 carrying an unmanned shuttle. There is video there of how the launch concept will work when suborbital test flights begin in 2017.

Concept: S3

S3 founder Pascal Jaussi says the A300 has been chosen because it is certified to operate from commercial airports and fly in civil airspace to deliver the shuttle to its 33,000ft release altitude, the return to base and a rapid turn-around for the next launch. Also, Jaussi notes, the A300 already has been certified  to fly a parabolic zero-g trajectory, a capability ESA uses for microgravity research and astronaut training.

Credit: ESA

S3 intends to operate the shuttle-carrying A300 from a new spaceport to be built at Switzerland's Payerne airport. Others are planned to follow in other parts of the world. Video of its spaceport design concept is also on the blog.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Things With Wings?

Aviation Week's civil aviation blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Jan 31, 2016

Tupolev 104: Harsh Proof Of Rapid Soviet Progress (1956) 18

Since little detail was available of the Russian design and built Tupolev 104, a profile was compiled for Aviation Week, based entirely on observations from photographs, experts such as engineers knowledgeable in typical Russian aircraft design and of its landing at London Airport....More
Jan 28, 2016

A Near View Of French Aviators (1917) 2

Some of the largest battles of the First World War were taking place in France when Aviation Week was first published....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×