The US Air Force STPSat-2 satellite has been successfully launched from the Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska, US, aboard a Minotaur IV rocket.

The STPSat-2 is the first spacecraft for the Department of Defense (DoD) space test programme standard interface vehicle (STP-SIV) programme.

The programme is managed by the Space Development and Test Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, Canada.

The STP-SIV architecture developed for STPSat-2 will support the operationally responsive space strategy to ensure US space superiority.

Ball Aerospace president and CEO David L Taylor said the STP-SIV accommodates a broad range of payloads for the DoD as well as the science and technology communities, from missile warning to earth-remote sensing and situational awareness.

The standard interface of the STPSat-2 spacecraft is compatible with multiple launch vehicles carrying experimental and risk reduction payloads into various low-Earth orbits.

Ball Aerospace has developed the spacecraft and standard payload interface, integrated the three payloads, performed space vehicle environmental testing, and provided launch and mission support.