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Kazakhstan's first reconnaissance satellite, KazEOSat-1, is orbiting the planet after Tuesday's successful launch from Europe's space center in French Guiana.

The European Arianespace launch consortium used a Vega rocket to loft the French-built satellite into space from the South American spaceport at Kourou.

The 1,830-pound satellite will make Earth observations from an altitude of 435 miles (700 kilometers). Kazakhstan says it will use KazEOSat-1 to monitor natural and agricultural resources, gather mapping data, and provide support for rescue operations.

— Alan Boyle, NBC News