The Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA) and France’s Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) have signed a space cooperation agreement. The agreement provides a framework for both countries to collaborate on different topics, including satellite developments, exploration of outer space, space applications, R&T, nanosatellites development and training, and the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) initiative, whose mission is to analyze and monitor global climate change and its impacts from Earth observation data. The cooperation will further strengthen the relations between the two countries in the field of space science and technology.
Egypt and France have already collaborated on different fields, including the launch of the NileSat 101 communications satellite, the launch of the TIBA-1 satellite for the Egyptian government, and the recent award to Thales Alenia Space after an international tender of the contract to develop the NileSat 301 telecommunications satellite. This agreement will further consolidate the partnership between the two countries and will provide a platform to assess their space ambitions and identify areas of mutual interest.
Egypt’s space sector is growing rapidly: To date, Egypt has sent nine satellites into space including three communications satellites owned by its publicly-traded satellite operator Nilesat. Four satellites, namely the Earth observation satellite EgyptSat-A, NARSSCube-2, NARSSCube-1 and the TIBA-1, were launched last year, making Egypt the African country with the highest number of launched satellites.
In September 2019, the Egyptian Space Agency signed a contract with the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) to commence the development of the Egyptian Satellite Assembly, Integration and Test Center (AIT), a satellite testing and ground station facility. Egypt and China are also working on the development of a new experimental satellite mission named MisrSat-II. The mission aims at improving Earth observations, as well as providing Egyptian engineers and scientists with on-the-project experience using facilities available in the country.
On 5 March 2020, Egypt announced a 10-year National Space Programme aimed at developing the nation’s space industry, as well as the applications in space weather, Earth observation, and climate risk mitigation. Egypt is currently working on the launch of two new satellites, the MisrSat-II and the MisrSat-III, by 2023 and on the development of a NGEO constellation within the next six years. This constellation will aim at surveilling and monitoring the Egyptian borders, as well as mitigating the risk of climate change and growing the country’s capability in space weather and space debris mitigation.