VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE (AP) — A new Space Based Surveillance satellite is orbiting the earth after a successful launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the central California coast.

Diana Bell — a spokeswoman for the satellite’s builder Boeing — said Sunday that it was a “picture-perfect” launch on a “beautiful” Saturday night for the Minotaur 4 rocket carrying the satellite.

Ball says the launch team was able to see the satellite for a long stretch on the warm, clear night.

The CBS station received several calls from viewers asking about the fireball they had seen in the sky.

The satellite was designed to detect and monitor debris and space objects that could be a threat to national security and communications.

It will be operated from Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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