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    Morocco to launch first observation satellite Wednesday

    APA-Rabat (Morocco)

    Morocco will on Wednesday at 01:42 GMT put into orbit its first observation satellite from the Kourou space base in French Guiana.

    Dubbed “Mohammed VI”, this first Moroccan satellite to be launched by a Vega rocket, will observe an 800-km-wide strip of land in high resolution.

    The satellite, estimated to cost €500 million, is able to record more than 500 images per day and transmit them directly to the control center located near the Rabat-Sale Airport.

    The satellite will be flown directly from Morocco, precisely from a space operations room located near the Rabat-Sale Airport. It will allow the Kingdom to perform real-time monitoring of operations in different areas of activity.

    The result of a collaborative effort between the Franco-Italian aerospace company, Thales Alenia Space and Airbus, the Mohammed VI-A satellite will be used for mapping, regional development, monitoring of agricultural activities and the observation of climate change and the evolution of the desertification process, as well as the prevention and management of natural disasters, and the surveillance of land and sea borders.

    Thales Alenia Space, responsible for the system, provided the payload comprising the optical instrument, the image transmission subsystem and the ground segment for image processing and production. Airbus is responsible for the satellite and its integration, of which it provided the platform, as well as the ground segment for mission planning and satellite control.

    The launch of the satellite will be followed by a similar launch in 2018.

    Observers say Wednesday’s launch will be a significant event that introduces a whole new dimension in the region and Africa.


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