Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


The Portuguese space agency wants to bring the Space Rider to Santa Maria Island, a European shuttle that experiments with microgravity and uses the island’s airport.

“Space Rider is a zero gravity laboratory,” which enables the “development of new products and systems,” the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education told.


The experience with this shuttle will, for example, “completely change the pharmaceutical industry” as it enables “new products to be manufactured more quickly,” said the minister


“This requires that there must be pharmaceutical company laboratories where the Space Rider lands,” added the guardian.


Manuel Heitor is therefore of the opinion that “Bringing the Space Rider not only takes advantage of a great airport and a great location, but also brings new people and creates jobs here in Santa Maria”.


Portugal Space’s online site makes it clear that it is a vehicle that “enables the access and return of payloads to and from space and enables the research and development of new products in a weightless environment”. This is therefore a project that “depends to a large extent on the ability to link the space and non-space sectors together”.


Santa Maria appears as the landing site for this system of the European Space Agency, “which enables Europe to carry out viable transport for space operations to and from space and guarantees European industry the opportunity to open up new markets,” says the website of the Portuguese Space Agency.