As Space Authority, ANACOM regulates the launch and return of space objects

/ Updated on 26.06.2019

ANACOM, as Space Authority, is regulating activities involving the launch and return of space objects (i.e. rockets carrying small satellite payloads) as well as their command and control.

ANACOM's draft regulation, which is now submitted to public consultation for 15 working days, aims to ensure the optimisation of resources and simple, fast and effective procedures. This will minimise the administrative burden on companies and facilitate access by the largest number of operators interested in the exercise of space activities in Portugal, while at the same time providing a high level of stringency in terms of safeguarding security interests, preventing damage and reducing the environmental impact of these activities.

The regulation aims to establish the rules applying to companies and organisations wishing to develop this activity, in terms of licensing and development of their activity. Specifically, it requires them to provide the Space Authority with a description of space objects and a description of the activity that they intend to pursue under single or global licence or through joint licensing.

There are also strict rules on safety and security, and entities intending to develop the activity are required to present a detailed, substantiated security plan.

The space activity subject to regulation is also governed by regulation measures associated with the different flight stages, from launcher lift-off until separation of the launcher and the object to be positioned in space and its final impact.

The draft regulation also establishes rules related to launch centre systems and processes, the registration of space objects and ownership transfers.

The regulation was formulated pursuant to Decree-Law no. 16/2019 of 22 January, which establishes the legal regime governing access to and exercise of space activities; it follows the Government's approval of the "Portugal Space 2030" Strategy (Resolution 30/2018 of 15 February), which saw the Atlantic Spaceport Center set up in the Azores as a platform for launching small satellites.

Following the regulation’s publication in Diário da República (Official Journal), interested parties have a period of 15 working days to respond and state their positions (comments in writing and in Portuguese). Comments should be sent by email to Once the consultation process has been concluded, the contributions received will be made public. Therefore, for the purposes of publication on this website, interested parties should also submit a non-confidential version of their responses excluding any items considered confidential.


Download file Draft Regulation on Access to and Exercise of Space Activities (PDF 484 Kb)