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Russia prepared to propose launch options for new Moroccan Satellite

Source : | 21 March 2016 |  Headlines | 160 views

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Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, said it was prepared to propose launch options for a new remote earth sensing satellite for Morocco if the African kingdom restarted its satellite program.

“Moroccans are in principle showing interest in high-tech cooperation,” the agency said in a statement released on Wednesday. “On December 10, 2001, the first Moroccan satellite was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Roscosmos has expressed its readiness to offer the Moroccan side launch options if it chooses to resume its work on creating a national remote earth sensing satellite.”

A remote earth sensing satellite would collect environmental and geological information via specially positioned sensors on the orbiting device.

The news came as the Moroccan monarch King Mohammed VI visited Russia last week to discuss the two countries’ political and economic relationship. After meetings between the king and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow released a statement saying Russia officially supports Morocco’s position on the Sahara issue.

Morocco’s space program is coordinated by the Royal Center for Remote Sensing, which was established by royal decree in 1989. In 2001, Morocco collaborated with Germany to produce the Maroc-Tubsat remote earth sensing satellite. The Technical University of Berlin built the satellite and the device was launched on top of a Ukrainian Zenit-2 rocket.

Since then, Morocco has not participated in the development of a new satellite. The country is one of only a handful of African states with any kind of space program.

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