FalconSAT-5 rockets into orbit

A rocket carrying the Air Force Academy's FalconSAT-5 satellite lifts off from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska Nov. 19, 2010. 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)

A rocket carrying the Air Force Academy's FalconSAT-5 satellite lifts off from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska Nov. 19, 2010. 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)

A satellite dish at the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska reflects light from a sunset prior to liftoff of a rocket carrying the Air Force Academy's FalconSAT-5 at the complex Nov. 19, 2010. FalconSAT is a capstone program in which Academy cadets design, build, test and operate a satellite. (U.S. Air Force photo)

A satellite dish at the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska reflects light from a sunset prior to liftoff of a rocket carrying the Air Force Academy's FalconSAT-5 at the complex Nov. 19, 2010. FalconSAT is a capstone program in which Academy cadets design, build, test and operate a satellite. (U.S. Air Force photo/Col. Marty France)

A rocket carrying FalconSAT-5 lifts off from Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska, Nov. 19, 2010. FalconSAT-5 is an Air Force Academy satellite designed, built and tested by seniors in a capstone astronauticcs project. (U.S. Air Force photo)

A rocket carrying FalconSAT-5 lifts off from Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska, Nov. 19, 2010. FalconSAT-5 is an Air Force Academy satellite designed, built and tested by seniors in a capstone astronauticcs project. (U.S. Air Force photo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- 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, 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.