November 21, 2018

Vega makes 13th successful launch orbits MOHAMMED VI-B satellite for the Kingdom of Morocco

On the night of 20-21 November, Vega accomplished a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), orbiting the MOHAMMED VI-B satellite for the Kingdom of Morocco. The satellite was developed by a consortium consisting of Thales Alenia Space as system prime contractor and Airbus Defence and Space as co-prime. The launch was this year’s ninth from the CSG and the second for Vega, marking the vehicle’s 13th straight success since its maiden flight in 2012.

MOHAMMED VI-B is an Earth observation satellite placed in a Sun-synchronous orbit. It is the second satellite in the MOHAMMED VI programme, following the launch by Vega of MOHAMMED VI-A on 7 November 2017.

System prime contractor Thales Alenia Space supplied the payload—the optical instrument, image transmission subsystem and image processing and production ground segment. Airbus Defence and Space was in charge of the satellite’s integration, having also supplied the bus plus the mission planning and satellite control ground segment.

MOHAMMED VI-B will mainly be used for mapping and land surveying activities, regional planning, agricultural monitoring, mitigation and management of natural disasters, tracking of changes in the environment and desertification, as well as border and coastal surveillance. The two MOHAMMED VI satellites will work in tandem to ensure faster coverage of targeted areas.

After this latest success for Vega, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I am delighted to see this 13th successful launch for Vega and the ninth of the year from the Guiana Space Centre, demonstrating once again the excellence of Europe’s spaceport. I would like to thank the Kingdom of Morocco, a longstanding partner of France in the field of space, for again placing its faith in us for its second Earth Observation satellite. I would also like to congratulate all of the teams to whom we owe this latest success for Vega, at ESA, Arianespace, Avio, Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defence and Space, and of course at CNES, whose technical and operational prowess were once again on show.”

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer    Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51
Sébastien Martignac    Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 35