Launch delayed for satellite to watch space debris

July 6, 2010

(AP) -- The launch of a new U.S. Air Force space surveillance satellite has been delayed due to a software problem in a rocket similar to the one that will lift the satellite into orbit.

The Space-Based Space Surveillance was scheduled to lift off Thursday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. No new launch date has been set.

Air Force officials said Tuesday that tests revealed a software problem on another Minotaur IV rocket. No other details have been released.

The satellite is designed to give the Air Force its first full-time, space-based surveillance of satellites and debris in Earth orbit.

The Air Force monitors about 1,000 active satellites and 20,000 pieces of debris for possible collisions.

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