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The Ministry of National Defence today formalised the entry into the European consortium for space surveillance and monitoring, providing for the installation of a “civil-military” operations centre in the Azores in August next year, as well as two telescopes in Pico do Areeiro .

The project, called “European Space Surveillance and Tracking”, aims to “guarantee its own capacity for monitoring, characterisation and tracking of objects that, travelling in orbits close to Earth, could constitute a real danger for space infrastructures and for citizens “According to a statement from the Ministry of National Defence.

“The prediction of the trajectories of discontinued satellites and are lost in space or of meteorites that can enter Earth’s orbit is extremely important and valuable information,” he told Lusa, the president of the National Defence Industries (IDD) platform.

By joining the consortium, which includes seven other Member States, Portugal plans to benefit from European Union funds for the operation of the national system and to “enable the Technological and Industrial Base of the space sector”, the statement said.

“We will have, as initial capacity, two telescopes in the Pico do Areeiro, Madeira, and a civil-military operations centre”, to be installed in the Terceira Island Science and Technology Park – TERINOV, on Terceira Island, in August 2019, Henrique Macedo said.

The European consortium to which Portugal has joined today includes France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Poland, Romania and Italy