Atlantic international
Satellite launch
Programme

Launch services to Space from
the Island of Santa Maria, Azores (PT)

A Joint initiative of the Government of Portugal and the Regional Government of the Azores,
through the portuguese Science and technology Foundation (FCt),
with the technical support of the european Space Agency (eSA)

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1.Objective

Objective

The objective of this International Call for Interest is to encourage and invite enterprises and public organizations from around the world to collaborate with Portuguese enterprises and research laboratories to design, install and operate a spaceport on the Island of Santa Maria, in the Azores, in association with the development and operation of a new generation of satellite launch services to space. The ultimate goal is to provide low-cost, frequent and regular access to space for small satellites, as a way to boost the utilization of space for the benefit of humanity.

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2.Why establishing a Spaceport in the Azores<br>
									– Island of Santa Maria?

Why establishing a Spaceport in the Azores
– Island of Santa Maria?

In several recent independent studies, all the authors concluded that the Island of Santa Maria offers a privileged geographic location in the middle of the Atlantic. It’s location offers an unobstructed launch trajectory, over the sea, for polar or SSO orbits, as well as a unique position between Europe, the Americas and Africa, representing a major advantage compared to other space ports in the world.

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3.The Institutional Commitment of Portugal

The Institutional Commitment of Portugal

The objective of this International Call for Interest is to encourage and invite enterprises and public organizations from around the world to collaborate with Portuguese enterprises and research laboratories to design, install and operate a spaceport on the Island of Santa Maria, in the Azores, in association with the development and operation of a new generation of satellite launch services to space. The ultimate goal is to provide low-cost, frequent and regular access to space for small satellites, as a way to boost the utilization of space for the benefit of humanity.

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4.The Process

The Process

1ST PHASE: Call for of Interest of Qualified Entities for Launch Services to Space from the Island of Santa Maria.
2ND PHASE: Overture of International Call for Tender for Launch Services to Space from the Island of Santa Maria.
3RD PHASE: Conclusion of International Competitive Bidding for Launch Services to Space.

By completion of the 3RD PHASE a contractual period of about two years will be initiated to install launch services to space from the Island of Santa Maria.

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5.Calendar

Calendar

1ST PHASE: 24 September 2018: begins the announcement and distribution of invitations for “Expressions of Interest for Launch Services to Space from the Island of Santa Maria”. 31 October 2018: Deadline submission.
2ND PHASE: January/February 2019: closing date for the submission of outline proposals, containing the required essential information, of the “International Call for Tender for Launch Services to Space from the Island of Santa Maria”.
3RD PHASE: March/May 2019: final assessment phase, based on the detailed analysis by an International High-Level Expert Committee Spring/Summer 2021: first expected launch services operating from the Azores.

See detailed calendar
6.The expected content of “Expressions of Interest” and the Preliminary commitment of the bidders (i.e., Proposer Enterprise/Consortia)

The expected content of “Expressions of Interest” and the Preliminary commitment of the bidders (i.e., Proposer Enterprise/Consortia)

For the 1ST PHASE, the expected content of “expressions of Interest” should include a maximum extent of 4 pages and shall be submitted before the 31ST of October 2018 (5 pm, Lisbon time), through the website of the Portuguese Science and technology Foundation (www.fct.pt).

Please submit your proposal / expression of interest to the following email space@fct.pt.

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Launch site location specifics - Short description

The islands of Azores and, in particular, the location of Malbusca in the island of Santa Maria, has been identified as a promising launching site through the feasibility studies performed in collaboration with UT-Austin’s Center for Space Research (2017), as well as the preliminary studies conducted under the ESA's Future Launchers Preparatory Program, among other studies performed recently by major international players. These technical studies have shown that an Azorean spaceport offers a wide range of Azimuth and good weather conditions enabling regular and frequent launches.

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Forewords