Arianespace has deployed the Mohammed VI A satellite into a sun-synchronous orbit following a successful launch of their smallest rocket, the Vega. The rocket was launched from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on November 7 at 20:42:31 local time (13:42:31 UTC).
“Vega has kept up its track record of consecutive successes,” said CEO of Vaio, Giulio Ranzo. “We are proud to have helped to open up access to Space for a new country: the Kingdom of Morocco. This achievement underlines the effectiveness of our partnership with Arianespace and our European industrial partners.”
The Mohammed VI A is an Earth observation satellite built by Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defence and Space for the Kingdom of Morocco. The satellite is the 150th built by Thales Alenia Space with another of their satellites, the Koreasat 5A launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 less than two weeks ago.
Once operation, the Mohammed VI A satellite will be used for “mapping and land surveying activities, regional development, agricultural monitoring, the prevention and management of natural disasters, monitoring changes in the environment and desertification,” according to an Arianespace press release.
The Mohammed VI A will be joined by the Mohammed VI B satellite in 2018.
The Vega launch vehicle is provided by one of the company’s trusted contractors, Avio. With a height of just 29,9 meters, the Vega is comparatively tiny to the rest of the Arianespace launch vehicles. The Ariane 5, for example, tops out at just over 50 meters tall. Nevertheless, the Vega is capable of launching payloads of up 1,500 kgs with dimensions not exceeding 2.3 meters in diameter and 6.3 meters in height.
Although the penultimate Vega launch of the year, Arianespace has already sold nine more mission aboard the company’s diminutive launch vehicle. This in addition to a number of Ariane 5 mission including the recently secured O3b and SES-17 satellite launch contracts.
Image Credit: Arianespace