The light launcher Vega took off Tuesday in the Guyanese night in Kourou at 22:42 local time (01:42 GMT) carrying Morocco’s Earth observation satellite, MOHAMMED VI – B.
The mission was scheduled to last just over 55 minutes from takeoff to satellite separation.
Just over 2 minutes after take-off, the operations management at the Guyana space centre described Vega’s trajectory as “nominal”, which means that it was following the planned route.
In French Guyana since 5 October, the MOHAMMED VI – B satellite, with a take-off weight of about 1,108 kg, is to be used “in particular for mapping and cadastral activities, land use planning, monitoring agricultural activities, prevention and management of natural disasters, monitoring of environmental trends and desertification, and border and coastal surveillance”, Arianespace said in a statement.
This satellite is to be placed in orbit like its predecessor, the MOHAMMED VI – A satellite, launched by Arianespace aboard Vega on 7 November 2017.
The two satellites will be complementary according to Arianespace.
The satellite was built by the Thales Alenia Space and Airbus consortium for the Kingdom of Morocco.
This is Arianespace’s ninth launch since the beginning of the year in French Guiana and the thirteenth launch of the Vega light launcher since it began operating in 2012, Arianespace said.