Europe’s Vega ushers Morocco into the group of reconnaissance satellite owners

by Peter B. de Selding

LONDON — The Kingdom of Morocco on Nov. 7 joined the club of nations with their own space-based intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance systems with the successful launch of the 50-centimeter-resolution Mohammed VI-A satellite.

Built by Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defense and Space, Mohammed VI-A is the first of two identical spacecraft produced under a 2014 contract with a total value of around $500 million, according to industry estimates.

Weighing some 1,100 kilograms, the satellite was separated from Europe’s Vega rocket after three . . .

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