Morocco to Foster Earth Observation Capabilities with Second Satellite
Morocco will launch a second surveillance satellite from the Kourkou base in Guyane on November 6, a date that coincides with celebrations of the Green March, le360 news portal reported.
The second satellite baptized Mohammed VI B boosts Morocco’s earth observation technology after the country successfully sent to orbit Mohammed VI A reconnaissance satellite that can take high-resolution multi-purpose images.
Together, the two satellites will give Morocco an edge in terms of intelligence, border monitoring, mapping and land surveying activities, spatial planning, preventing and managing natural disasters, and monitoring environmental changes and desertification thanks to the high resolution optical images they are able to take.
The two satellites have irked Algeria and its protégé the Polisario after Morocco used images from the first satellite to prove breaches of 1991 ceasefire agreement by the Polisario separatists east of Morocco’s security wall in the Sahara.
Spain, feeling outpaced by its southern neighbor, is struggling to bridge the gap through the launch of its own earth-observation satellite in 2019,
The two satellite, worth €600 million, are 100% financed by Morocco, le360.ma said.
The defense uses of the two satellites will be overseen by Morocco’s external intelligence service (DGED) with some 100 Moroccan engineers trained for such tasks.