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Angra do Heroísmo ,  November 06, 2018

Gui Menezes announces that 14 international consortia are interested in the space port project on Santa Maria

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology stated that 14 international consortia submitted proposals of interest for the development, installation and operation of a space port on the island of Santa Maria, following the international consultation process that ended on October 31.
The consultation took place during the first phase of the Atlantic International Satellite Launch Programme (ATLANTIC ISLP). The process was carried out by the National Government, through the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), and the Azorean Government, through the Azores Mission for Space (EMA - Space). It involved the technical support of the European Space Agency (ESA).
According to Gui Menezes, the proponents have expressed their interest in collaborating with Portuguese companies as well as with national research and engineering centres. Seven of the 14 proposals submitted present innovative solutions for innovative access to space with microsatellites, while the remaining present solutions for system and software engineering products and services as well as innovation related to terrestrial infrastructures.
The interest was shown by consortia from Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Russia and the United States, which intend to operate throughout the value chain associated with the new generation of small satellite launch services to Space.
The Regional Secretary stressed that this initiative, which will have several phases, aims to stimulate the creation of qualified employment and the leverage of new space projects with high added value that, in the long term, will provide a new impetus to projects already existing on the island of Santa Maria.
After all phases of evaluation and analysis of feasibility conditions and contractual procedures, we expect that the first launch services will start operating in the Azores in the spring/summer of 2021.
The expressions of interest of 14 consortia will now be analysed by a high-level International Commission made up of nine national and foreign experts under the coordination of former Director-General of the European Space Agency, Jean Jacques Dordain.
The first meeting of this committee is scheduled for this month with the aim of recommending a list of candidates that will be invited to participate in the second phase of the Atlantic International Satellite Launch Programme (ATLANTIC ISLP).
During the first quarter of 2019, proposals will be submitted in response to the international call for expressions of interest and a new evaluation process will follow, which will include a public presentation of the proposals.


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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