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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE – A rocket carrying a military research satellite blasted off Thursday, dazzling spectators from California to Arizona with a rainbow of colors as it streaked across the sky at dusk.
The Minotaur rocket carrying a DARPA payload launched into orbit at 7:24 p.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base, said Maj. Todd Fleming.
DARPA is the research and development arm of the Pentagon. The 920-pound "Streak" payload will stay in orbit for a year, gathering information about the Earth's environment in low orbit. The mission's cost is classified.