VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE (AP) — An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from California early Tuesday on a test flight to a target in the Pacific Ocean, the Air Force Global Strike Command said.
The missile blasted off at 12:21 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base and its three reentry vehicles traveled 4,200 miles (6,759 kilometers) to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands as part of a developmental test, the command said from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.READ MORE: Helicopter Carrying Multiple People Crashes Near Colusa, FAA Says
Test launches are essential to sustaining the aging Minuteman 3 nuclear weapon system, Col. Omar Colbert, the 576th Flight Test Squadron commander, said in a statement.READ MORE: 45 Structures Now Destroyed As Dixie Fire Grows To 244,888 Acres
The Air Force said test launches are not a reaction to world events.
The launch calendars are developed three to five years in advance, and planning for individual launches takes six months to a year.MORE NEWS: Hefty Fees Part Of New Parking Experiment At Lake Tahoe Beach
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