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Portugal to build satellite launch pad and lab with China

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Staff Writer | Wednesday November 7, 2018 3:09AM ET
Manuel Heitor
Europe   Manuel Heitor

Portugal plans to build an international launch pad for small satellites in the Azores and has agreed with China to set up a joint research centre to make satellites on the mainland, its science and technology minister said on Tuesday.

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The government has received tentative proposals from 14 consortiums from Europe, the United States and Russia to design the launch pad jointly with local organisations, and to use the site in the future, Manuel Heitor said.

During the Web Summit - Europe's largest technology conference taking place in Lisbon this week - Heitor told reporters the "space port" on the mid-Atlantic island of Santa Maria should be ready for commercial launches by mid-2021.

Portugal aims to pick the offer by mid-2019.

Heitor also announced the 50 million euro ($57 million) joint project with China, to be funded in equal parts by the two countries and envisaging a laboratory in Portugal next year.


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