Launch delayed for new Air Force satellite that will monitor space debris

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 satellite 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.