Arianespace’s Vega launcher performs its eighth mission at the service of Earth observation
On its 11th consecutive success since entering service in 2012, Arianespace’s light-lift Vega launcher today orbited the MOHAMMED VI – A satellite for the Kingdom of Morocco on a nighttime mission from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
Designated Flight VV11 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, this was the eighth Earth observation mission for Vega. Overall, the MOHAMMED VI – A satellite was the 64th Earth observation platform orbited by Arianespace with its launch vehicles for government and commercial customers.
Thales Alenia Space is the system prime contractor for the MOHAMMED VI – A satellite, supplying the payload – including the optical instrument, the image transmission subsystem, and the ground segment for image processing and production. Airbus, as satellite prime contractor, was in charge of its integration, as well as supplying the platform and the ground segment for mission planning and satellite control.
The multi-purpose MOHAMMED VI – A satellite
Tonight’s 55-minute Vega mission placed the 1,110-kg. spacecraft into a Sun-synchronous orbit. The MOHAMMED VI – A satellite will serve multiple purposes, including mapping and land surveying, regional development, agricultural monitoring, monitoring changes in the environment.
Including the payload deployed by Flight VV11, Vega’s eleven missions to date have lofted a combined total of 11.3 metric tons.
Flight VV11 was Arianespace’s 10th launch of 2017, performed by its family of the heavyweight Ariane 5, medium-lift Soyuz and light-lift Vega. The year’s final launch is planned for December 12, using an Ariane 5 to orbit four European Galileo navigation and positioning satellites.