Portugal, China to set up lab for building satellites

A Portuguese minister has said his country and China will together invest €50 million (US$57.03 million) over five years in establishing a laboratory called STARlab, which will take charge of building small satellites, Lusa reports.

The Portuguese news agency quotes Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education Manuel Heitor as saying the laboratory will be fully operational next March.

Mr Hector said China and Portugal would invest equal amounts of money, to be provided by the public and private sectors.

The report says the satellites the laboratory will build will collect data useful for farmers and observe the oceans.

The Sino-Portuguese agreement on STARlab will be signed when Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Portugal next month, Lusa says.