PARIS – The European consortium Arianespace announced on Wednesday it had put a Moroccan observation satellite into orbit using a Vega rocket that was launched overnight from French Guiana.
The satellite, named Mohammed VI in honor of the North African country’s current monarch, separated from the rocket 55 minutes and 33 seconds after the launch, which occurred Tuesday at 10:42 pm local time in Kourou (0142 GMT Wednesday), according to a statement by Arianespace.
The consortium added that it was the 11th consecutive successful launch of a Vega rocket since 2012.
The satellite is set to be used for mapping, monitoring crops, natural disaster prevention and management and monitoring weather phenomena, among other functions.
Vega launchers, developed by Italy and specialized for light loads, are among the civilian expendable launch vehicles managed by Arianespace, which also include Russia’s Soyuz and the European Ariane launchers.