Cannabis objective: a European country launches its first two satellites thanks to SpaceX – Business AM

This week, Albania launched the first two satellites in its history. They will allow the authorities to fight against drugs, among other things.

Why is this important?

For several years, thanks in particular to private companies such as SpaceX, the space race has become more democratic. While some major powers have big goals (the Moon and Mars), other smaller players want to join the space scene. With more modest aims.

In the news : space now has two Albanian satellites.

  • This week, Albania was able to launch the Albania 1 and Albania 2 satellites into orbit.
  • The Balkan country did not do it alone.
    • The satellites were designed by Satellogic and put into orbit by SpaceX, two American companies.

The detail : thank you USA.

  • The two Albanian satellites were launched on Tuesday via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral base in a mission that saw the American company put 114 satellites into orbit.
  • The collaboration between Albania and Elon Musk’s space company was announced in October 2021.
    • At the time, it was reported that Albania 1 and Albania 2 would be launched in March and June 2022 respectively.
    • The launches will therefore have been delayed, but all’s well that ends well.
  • The partnership with Satellogic, signed in 2022, is scheduled to last three years.
    • As part of this, Albania will receive the satellite images dedicated to it, while some government officials will be entitled to training in data analysis and transmission of information to relevant government agencies.

Cannabis Tracking

And now : what will it be used for?

  • “As of today, Albania has more high-tech capabilities to control, protect and administer the territory, in order to provide real-time important data on several key aspects of sustainable development”, said delighted Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.
  • Concretely, Albania relies on its two satellites to track down the illegal cultivation of cannabis and other drugs.
    • Albania is considered a hotspot for cannabis sativa cultivation, which is then found all over Europe.
    • In 2022, it was again ranked among the countries in the world where cannabis was grown the most (illegally) in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s World Drug Report.
    • “Satellites will make it impossible not only to cultivate entire plots [de cannabis], but also the culture beyond 70 cm, “said Edi Rama when announcing the collaboration with SpaceX. “Every day, in real time, the police will have before their eyes what is happening throughout Albanian territory. »
  • In addition, the two satellites will allow Albania to:
    • Detect other crimes such as construction and illegal logging.
    • Watch for forest fires.
    • Monitor the environment.
    • Tackling problems related to agriculture.
    • Manage traffic.
    • Watch the borders.

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