"Aeros", a 4.5-kilo nanosatellite, will be on board a Falcon 9 rocket, which will take off from the SpaceX company base in Vandenberg, in the United States, at 9:18 pm (Lisbon time).

The device, designed and operated by a national consortium of several companies and academic institutions, was launched 30 years after "PoSat-1", the first Portuguese satellite, a 50-kilo microsatellite that entered Earth orbit in September 1993, but deactivated after a decade.

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

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

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

The universities of Algarve, Porto and Minho, the Instituto Superior Técnico and Imar - Instituto do Mar, among others, provide scientific support for the mission, and are also 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 with 1.88 million euros by the Feder – European Regional Development Fund.

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