Two ICBM tests planned within four days…(Prepare Yourselves!)

Sunday, September 22, 2013
By Paul Martin

September 20, 2013

This month could end with a flurry of launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The first of two Minuteman 3 missile tests planned within four days is scheduled for early Sunday morning from North Base.

Blastoff is planned for 3:01 a.m., but the team has until 9:01 a.m. for the test to take place. Delays can occur due to technical troubles at Vandenberg or downrange.

Upon liftoff, the military will track the weapon as it travels some 4,200 miles to a predetermined target in the Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean.

Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority and noted the busy year for the Western Range. The range is made up sensors and other equipment to ensure just-launched rockets and missiles remain on their flight paths.

“Whether we are supporting a mid-morning launch of a Delta 4 or an early morning Minuteman 3 launch, public safety is always our number one priority,” Balts said.

Minuteman 3 missile tests take place from underground silos on the northern portion of Vandenberg.

The unarmed weapon is topped with a dummy warhead — typically a re-entry vehicle equipped with sensors to gather reams of data.

Sunday’s test is one of two planned next week. Another Minuteman test is scheduled for early Thursday.

The Rest…HERE

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