Albania launches two satellites to crack down on territorial illegality

Albania launches two satellites to crack down on territorial illegality |

Albania launched its first two satellites, Albania 1 and Albania 2, into orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station this week, hoping they will aid a crackdown on drug cultivation and other crimes.

The satellites were a part of the SpaceX Transporter-6 rideshare mission from Space Launch Complex 40. They came following a $6 million deal with Satelllogic USA signed in 2022 to create a dedicated satellite constellation to monitor the territory.

Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote on Facebook, “Just launched from the Cape Canaveral base in Florida, USA, the Falcon 9 rocket, the joint SpaceX Transporter 6 mission that carries our two satellites into space, ALBANIA1 and ALBANIA2.”

As well as monitoring illegal cannabis cultivation, the satellites will also help detect crimes such as illegal construction and logging and aid in monitoring border security, wildfires, and traffic.

“From today Albania has more high-tech capabilities to control, protect and administer the territory, to provide in important real-time data on several key aspects for sustainable development,” the prime minister added.

The three-year deal with Satellogic, Albania will receive satellite imagery and training for government specialists in analysing the data and relaying information to the relevant government bodies.

Albania continued to struggle with drug cultivation and was named one of the top countries in the world for cannabis cultivation and distribution by the World Drug Report 2022 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The country is also a key destination and transit country for cannabis and cocaine and a stop on the Balkan Route for irregular migration.

(Alice Taylor |


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