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Angra do Heroísmo ,  February 19, 2019

Installation of National Operations Centre of European SST programme on Terceira projects the Azores and Portugal, says Vasco Cordeiro

The President of the Government stressed today the importance of the installation of the National Operations Centre of the European Space Surveillance and Tracking programme on Terceira for the Azores and Portugal. This is another example of the efforts undertaken towards the geostrategic projection of the Region.
"Due to the Azores and their geographic location, Portugal becomes part of a European space objects monitoring programme," Vasco Cordeiro said, noting the direct benefits to the Region arising from the creation of new jobs and new economic development opportunities.
The President of the Government spoke at the signing ceremony of the Cooperation Protocol with the Ministry of National Defence for the installation of the National Centre for Operations of the Space Surveillance and Tracking Programme (SST) at Terceira Science and Technology. This programme consists of a European consortium of eight countries and provides for the installation of a network to monitor and predict trajectories of objects in orbit around the Earth.
"We are talking about the geostrategic projection of the Azores. We are talking about new areas of cooperation between the National Government and the Government of the Azores and about new possibilities to project the Azores on a European and global scale. We are talking about many things and today this becomes reality," stressed Vasco Cordeiro, who spoke at the ceremony attended by the Minister of National Defence, João Gomes Cravinho.
Regarding this geostrategic location, the President of the Government stated that the efforts have been undertaken in several areas, pointing out, for example, the infrastructures installed on Santa Maria Island in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Government of Spain.
"The equipment installed has strengthened the Region's position in this area. This is of paramount importance for the geostrategic position of our archipelago as well as for business creation and economic development," stressed the President of the Government.
According to him, the Azores International Satellite Launch Programme is another example of good cooperation with the National Government, an initiative aimed at the creation of space port for the launch of microsatellites on Santa Maria.
The next phase of this programme will include a legal procedure for the formal submission of proposals by all the consortia that have already expressed interest in this project.
"We believe this is a project with great potential and we have undertaken several efforts bearing this mind," said the President of the Government. In turn, he also mentioned the ongoing negotiations for the acquisition of land in the municipality of Lajes das Flores for the installation of a second RAEGE station - Atlantic Network of Geodynamic and Space Stations.
During this year, a new 15-metre ESA antenna will be installed on the island of Santa Maria. It will be used for the scientific sun observation programme - PROBA3.
"All this has strengthened the position of the Azores not only in terms of its geostrategic importance, but also in terms of the economic development linked to these areas," said Vasco Cordeiro.
In his speech, the President of the Government also highlighted the "productive collaboration" with the Ministry of National Defence in the reusue of infrastructures left vacant by the USA, following the US unilateral decision to resize its forces at Lajes Base. In this context, he also highlighted the creation of the Atlantic Defence Centre, which is another "way to project the Azores from a geostrategic standpoint and, consequently, their relevance for the projection of our country at global level."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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