updated 11/6/2010 8:36:35 PM ET 2010-11-07T00:36:35

A rocket carrying an Earth-observation satellite for civilian and military use has launched from California's Central Coast.

Vandenberg Air Force Base officials say the Delta II rocket blasted off at 7:20 p.m. local time Friday from the base.

The payload was the last part of a four-satellite system called COSMO-SkyMed that uses radar to create images for defense and scientific purposes, mainly in the Mediterranean region.

The satellite system was developed under an agreement between the Italian Space Agency and Italy's defense ministry.

The launch had been delayed since Sunday after problems with a propellent and a heater that kept the rocket's engines warm.

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