Morocco launches first spy satellite, gets strategic boost

2017-11-08 19:15
The European Space Agency (ESA), the Centre national d'etudes spatiale (CNES, the French government space agency) and the Arianespace satellite launch company shows the Vega launcher lifting off from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana carrying onboard the Mohammed VI satellite, an Earth observation satellite into orbit for the Kingdom of Morocco. ( File: AFP)

The European Space Agency (ESA), the Centre national d'etudes spatiale (CNES, the French government space agency) and the Arianespace satellite launch company shows the Vega launcher lifting off from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana carrying onboard the Mohammed VI satellite, an Earth observation satellite into orbit for the Kingdom of Morocco. ( File: AFP)

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Marrakech - Morocco has launched its first observation satellite, to be used for military activities, surveillance of its borders and coastline and monitoring desertification in the region.

The Mohammed VI-A satellite was launched on Wednesday from Kourou, French Guiana, in the presence of prominent Moroccan figures. It will be piloted from an operating center near the capital, Rabat.

The launch service provider Arianespace says that it will be used for mapping activities, spatial planning, monitoring of agricultural activities, prevention and management of natural disasters and monitoring of environmental developments.

The satellite was built by Airbus Defense & Space and Thales Alenia Space. A second launch is planned for 2018. The project's cost has not been disclosed.

The launch has reportedly raised concern in rival neighbour Algeria, and in Spain.

Read more on:    morocco  |  north africa

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