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Portugal and Azores look for route into space

The governments of Portugal and the Azores, an autonomous Portuguese region in the mid-Atlantic, are planning to set up a spaceport on the Azorian island of Santa Maria.

Portugal’s Foundation for Science and Technology—its national science funder—and the Azores Mission Structure for Space launched an international call on 24 September for organisations to help Portuguese companies, research institutes and engineering centres to design, build and operate the spaceport.

The aim is to “stimulate the modernisation of space activities based on small satellites” and to expand existing space monitoring facilities on Santa Maria, the Portuguese government said. It added that it intends to “initiate a generation of launcher services and space activities for the benefit of society as a whole”, such as in telecommunications, Earth observation and security.

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