A rocket carrying an Earth-observation satellite for civilian and military use has been launched from California's Central Coast.
Vandenberg Air Force Base officials said the Delta II rocket blasted off from the base.
The payload was the last part of a four-satellite system called Cosmo-SkyMed that uses radar to create images for defence and scientific purposes, mainly in the Mediterranean region.
The satellite system was developed under an agreement between the Italian Space Agency and Italy's defence ministry.
The launch had been delayed due to technical problems.