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Thales Alenia Space signs a partnership agreement with Swiss Space Systems for the development of the SOAR suborbital vehicle


Le Bourget – Today, at the International Aeronautics and Space Show in Le Bourget (Paris), Thales Alenia Space announces the signing of the agreement with Swiss Space System (S3) for the development of the pressurized compartment intended to house scientific experiments and astronauts of the SOAR (Sub-Orbital Aircraft Reusable) suborbital vehicle.

Swiss Space Systems is a young Swiss aerospace company whose goal, from now until 2018, is the development, construction, certification and operation of suborbital spacecraft for launching small satellites up to a weight of 250 kg.

This agreement will allow S3 to further develop the project, also proposing research applications in the areas of microgravity and suborbital passenger transportation. The S3 project also takes advantage of the prestigious collaboration of ESA’s Astronaut Center and of other important aerospace industries.

Based on this Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two companies, Thales Alenia Space will provide its know-how in order to design the pressurized compartment which, depending on mission requirements, will be configured as a laboratory intended to house scientific and technological experiments or to accommodate passengers.

The definition of the finalization of a preliminary phase of the contract between Thales Alenia Space and S3 is expected for the end of the summer.

“Thales Alenia Space, with its proven experience and capability in the human flight and space transportation sector, is undoubtedly the ideal and most qualified partner to support Swiss Space Systems in the development of the pressurized module of the SOAR project - stated Luigi Maria Quaglino, Senior Vice President Domain Exploration and Science. - “It is important to underline that Thales Alenia Space continues to support the operational life of the International Space Station through the production of the 9 Pressurized Modules for the Cygnus spacecraft developed on behalf Nasa with Orbital Sciences Corporation, whose first launch is expected in September 2013 from Wallops launch site. At the same time we are already working on the design and construction of the MPCV vehicle (Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle) for transporting the Orion capsule within the framework of the ESA-NASA cooperation on the project”.

About Thales Alenia Space
The European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups’ “Space Alliance”. Thales Alenia Space sets the global standard in solutions for space telecommunications, radar and optical Earth observation, defence and security, navigation and science. With consolidated revenues of 2.1 billion Euros in 2012, Thales Alenia Space has 7,500 employees in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium and United States.


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