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Mystery attack


Probe launched after space entrepreneur ‘set on fire’


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Prosecutors have opened up an investigation into an attack on space technology pioneer Pascal Jaussi. The entrepreneur is recovering in hospital after being abducted and set alight ten days ago, according to media reports.

Jaussi is chief executive of Swiss Space Systems S3, based in Payerne, canton Vaud. The firm is developing commercial space flights and a system for launching research satellites. Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier is on the firm’s board of directors in an expert advisory role.

“Our aim is to democratise access to space by enabling emerging markets, countries, universities and research institutes to do what has not been possible for them up to now: deploy their own satellites,” the company says on its website. The company was formed in 2013 and plans to build its own space shuttle next year.

Later this year, S3 says it will offer its first zero-gravity commercial flight for CHF2,950 ($3,000) on board an Airbus A340-300. The company then plans to roll out the experience in 15 destinations around the world.

Jaussi has gone on record for saying that his company’s mission has not been appreciated by all competitors in the space industry.

According to the Tribune de Genéve newspaper, Jaussi was abducted and taken to a wooded area in canton Fribourg where he was doused in inflammable liquid and set on fire. The canton’s prosecution service told the Swiss News Agency on Monday that it had opened an investigation into the incident that took place on August 26.

Investigators would not give any more information and would not comment on media reports into the attack.

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swissinfo.ch with agencies

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