Thirty years later, Portugal launches its second satellite


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Thirty years later, Portugal is launching its second satellite into space, “Aeros”, which will observe the oceans from the “vicinity” of the International Space Station, the astronauts’ “home” and laboratory.

“Aeros”, a 4.5 kilogram nano-satellite, will be on board a Falcon 9 rocket, which will take off from SpaceX’s Vandenberg base in the United States at 21:18 (Lisbon time).

The device, designed and operated by a national consortium of several companies and academic institutions, is being launched 30 years after “PoSat-1”, Portugal’s first satellite, a 50-kilogram microsatellite that entered Earth’s orbit in September 1993, but was deactivated after a decade.

“Aeros” will be in Earth orbit at an altitude of 510 kilometers, slightly above the International Space Station.

Communications and the collection of data and images will be carried out from the teleport of Santa Maria, in the Azores, maintained by Thales Edisoft Portugal, the company leading the national consortium.

The CEiiA engineering center in Matosinhos, one of the partners that built the nanosatellite, will process the data and images for scientific studies.

The universities of Algarve, Porto and Minho, the Instituto Superior Técnico and Imar – Instituto do Mar, among others, are providing scientific support for the mission, which has also been joined by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the United States, through the MIT-Portugal cooperation program.

“Aeros”, which began work in 2020, represents an investment of 2.78 million euros, co-financed to the tune of 1.88 million euros by Feder – the European Regional Development Fund.

The launch of the nanosatellite can be watched in Portugal at an event at CEiiA in Matosinhos.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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