In June 2014, Swiss Space Systems (S3) announced its partnership with the City of North Bay and Canadore College.
This partnership enabled S3 to initiate several technical activities from this Canadian region, a highly interesting zone, because of its geographic situation and its large available test flight zones.
The first operations that were to be conducted were drop tests and mock-up test flights of its SOAR suborbital shuttle. This campaign extended throughout the 2015 academic year. The mock-up, including drone systems, were captive-carried by a helicopter. In a second phase it was dropped from a helicopter at an altitude of 5,000m, which enabled testing of flight systems and the aerodynamics of the shuttle in order to validate aerodynamics.
For this test campaign, S3 counted on the technical and operational support of Canadore College and its dedicated School of Aviation campus, as well as the support of the City of North Bay and the Board at the YYB North Bay Jack Garland Airport.
"S3 came to North Bay looking for a place to undertake technical trials and testing of equipment for our future sub-orbital shuttle. We were attracted by the possibilities at the airport, facilities at Canadore College and open airspace. What we have found is tremendous support and forward thinking that has made our partnership nothing short of exemplary."
Rolf Brant, S3 Representative in Canada
From October 8-10, North Bay was transformed from the Gateway to the North to the Gateway to the Universe in an effort to promote the region's strengths in supporting space and aerospace industries. YYB North Bay World Space Week was a three day event focused on Industry, Education and Community.
Industry Day saw over 60 international, national, and local companies come together to present, learn, and discuss opportunities and collaborative efforts.
Education Day saw over a thousand students from the Nipissing district explore a variety of displays and activities that inspired and promoted education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics which will be required to support the city’s future aerospace capabilities. Approximately 500 people attended the Community Day activities at CFB North Bay which were similar to the activities offered during Education Day, with a surprise guest appearance from Col. Chris Hadfield.
The three day event concluded with a sold out show at the Capitol Centre featuring Col. Chris Hadfield. A wide range of media coverage of the event was received, including a feature in Skies Magazine.