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Minotaur launches space surveillance satellite
Posted: Sun, Sep 26, 2010, 11:19 AM ET (1519 GMT)
Minotaur 4 launch of SBSS (Orbital) A Minotaur rocket successfully launched a new satellite for the Air Force that will track satellites and orbital debris. The Minotaur 4 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex-8 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:41 pm PDT Saturday (12:41 am, 0441 GMT Sunday) and placed the Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) Pathfinder satellite into orbit. The satellite will be used to track objects in Earth orbit and provide those observations to the US Space Surveillance Network, which will incorporate them into analyses to look for potential collisions among objects. The launch was the first orbital mission for the Minotaur 4, which utilizes solid rocket motors from retired Peacekeeper ICBMs; the Minotaur 4 made its debut earlier this year with a suborbital mission.
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