A satellite dish at the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska reflects light from a sunset Nov. 19, 2010, prior to liftoff of a rocket carrying the Air Force Academy's FalconSAT-5 at the complex. (U.S. Air Force photo/Col. Marty France)
A rocket carrying the Air Force Academy's FalconSAT-5 satellite lifts off Nov. 19, 2010, from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska. FalconSAT is a capstone program that allows Academy cadets to design, build, test and operate a satellite. FalconSAT-5 carried Space Test Program payloads to measure measure the ionosphere and its effects on radio frequency signals. (U.S. Air Force photo/Col. Marty France)
11/24/2010 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) -- A converted Minotaur-IV ICBM carried FalconSAT-5 into orbit from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska Nov. 19.
FalconSAT-5 was designed, built and tested by Air Force Academy Class of 2010 cadets as part of the FalconSAT capstone astronautics program.
Col. Marty France, the permanent professor and head of the Academy Department of Astronautics, accepted satellite control authority from the Space Test Program's Col. Carol Welsch after FalconSAT-5 separated from the Minotaur IV booster. Cadets performed the first contact missions with the satellite after troubleshooting a problem with a ground-based antenna here.
"We really appreciate the worldwide support over the last couple of days, from the launch site, a great turnout at the launch party, early contact runs and the many well-wishers," an Astronautics Department official said on the USAFA Astronautics Facebook profile.
FalconSAT-5 carries Department of Defense Space Test Program experiments designed to study Earth's ionosphere and its impact on radio-frequency communications.
(Courtesy of U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs)