S3's planned satellite-carrying shuttle, being carried itself on an Airbus A300
After separating from the A300, the shuttle would fire up its engines and proceed to 80 kilometers (50 miles), at which point the satellite would be launched from its cargo bay
The planned first spaceport in Payerne
S3's upper stage engine would propel the satellite from the shuttle and into orbit
If you want to launch a satellite in the usual way – on top of a rocket – it will typically cost you at least US$50,000,000. Newly-inaugurated aerospace firm Swiss Space Systems (S3), however, claims that it will be able to put your small satellite into orbit for about 10.6 million bucks. Why so cheap? S3 is planning on flying satellites into space, using an airliner and an unmanned shuttle.
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