Morocco to expand space capabilities

Its space program, run by the Royal Centre for Remote Space Sensing, has a strong cooperation with the US, Spain and France

Previous Israeli MoD Benny Gantz signs a military cooperation agreement with Morocco’s MoD, Abdellatif Loudiyi, March 2022. Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Israel Ministry of Defense

In 2021, Morocco decided that it must upgrade its space capabilities, which then included two observation satellites for security missions. The satellites were launched on 2001 and in 2018.

Another satellite, built by Thales Alenia, was launched in November 2017 for the purpose of civilian research and assignments, such as weather control, climate and agricultural crops. It was carried out using a Russian satellite launcher.

Morocco has a close cooperation with Spain, the US and France in the field of space research. As of 2019, it also started cooperating with the UAE space agency, as well as with the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences.

One of the leaders in Africa in this field, Morocco relied on the UAE when developing its space strategy, learning from its experience. Morocco’s original space program started in 1989, with the goal of developing observational capabilities for governmental and private consumers as well as for academia.

The program is run by the Royal Centre for Remote Space Sensing, Morocco’s official space agency. Various research programs are managed within the agency’s framework, such as remote sensing, small satellites, space exploration, medical technologies, cyber, space as a business dimension, and international law and research regarding ethical and moral issues in the context of space.

Morocco sees its space program as one of the most significant factors in accelerating local economy, in all areas: education, agriculture, defense, aviation amd more. Morocco also indents to manufacture engine, airplane and satellite parts.

The Royal Centre for Remote Space Sensing offers research programs as well as financial aid to youths and high-school graduates. Over the past ten years, many students have been sent from Morocco to specialization programs in the US and France, in order to acquire relevant knowledge and bring it back home.

Recently, our sources have come across some information indicating that Morocco has decided to launch additional observation satellites into space. To this end, it has decided on a limited number of relevant companies, which will present their suggestions.

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