Portugal is advancing into space and the Ministry of Defense wants to place the country among a restricted set of other countries with competencies to monitor, identify and predict trajectories of objects in orbit of planet Earth that could pose a real danger to humanity.
Portugal submitted its application to the Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST), a European space monitoring and tracking program. The preparation of this national candidacy was led by the Ministry of National Defense, but was supported by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the Regional Governments of the Azores and Madeira.
The TSS program wants to ensure for Europe its own capabilities for monitoring, characterization and tracking of objects in the vicinity of the planet Earth, which could constitute a real danger for the infrastructures in its orbit, such as satellites, and for the safety of the Earth. humanity. Other space powers such as the US, Japan, Russia already have similar operating systems, the government said in a statement.
In fact, this program is intended to provide for the impact of in-orbit objects, to reduce the risk of collision during access to space, and to calculate the impact location and the destructive footprint on the surface of the earth in case of re-entry of objects in the atmosphere. There will also be the task of monitoring the activity of non-European satellites which could endanger the security and defense of Europe.
This will be one of the four major programs in the area of space supported by the European Union and implemented by the European Commission, alongside Galileo (satellite navigation), Copernicus (Earth Observation) and GovSATCOM (Government Communications by Satellite) programs.
The main objective is for the TSS to network European resources dispersed across Member States, creating a European cooperative network capable of mapping, tracking and estimating trajectories of space objects, whether active satellites or space junk.