The Mohammed VI-A satellite launched Wednesday weighs more than a tonne, and was to be placed in orbit about 700 kilometers from the earth, to observe in high resolution a strip of land area 800 km wide.
Costing 500 million euros, it is able to record more than 500 images per day and transmit them directly to the control center located near Morocco’s Rabat-Sale airport.
The second satellite due for launch in 2018 will provide approximately 1,000 photos per day to the teams at the Royal Center for Remote Sensing Space (CRTS) and the Royal Center for Space Studies and Research (CRERS), via an antenna installed near Rabat.
Meanwhile, Morocco’s first satellite launched Wednesday from Kourou, French Guiana, in the presence of prominent Moroccan figures, is “to be used for military activities, surveillance of its borders and coastline and monitoring desertification in the region,” according to the Associated Press (AP) news agency.
“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 agency added.
The high-resolution surveillance satellite was built by Airbus Defense & Space and Thales Alenia Space. It will be piloted from an operating center near Morocco’s capital, Rabat.