A Minotaur 4 rocket made up of five solid-fueled rocket motors delivered a U.S. military satellite tracking craft into an equatorial orbit early Saturday after lifting off from Cape Canaveral.
The Minotaur 4 took off at 2:04 a.m. EDT (0604 GMT) from Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral, running nearly three hours late due to storms that delayed launch preps Friday evening.
The ORS-5 satellite aboard the rocket is beginning a three-year mission surveying geosynchronous orbit with an optical telescope, producing tracking data on satellites and space junk in the heavily-trafficked belt.
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