Space and astronomy news and information for the American Southwest. Coverage includes Vandenberg AFB rocket and missile launches.

Minuteman III Launch

Vandenberg AFB News Release

2005 July 19

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled for launch from North Vandenberg Thursday morning as part of a developmental test to demonstrate the ability to integrate a Safety Enhanced Re-entry Vehicle into the Minuteman III weapons system. The launch window is from 1:01 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. PDT.

The missile will launch under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron here. Capt Kelvin Dumas, 576th FLTS, is the launch director. The 576th FLTS commander, Lt Col S.L. Davis is the mission director. Col Jack Weinstein, 30th Space Wing commander, is the spacelift commander.

Members of the 576th FLTS have performed all maintenance activities to include missile emplacement and installation of unique missile tracking, telemetry and command destruct systems to collect test data and meet safety requirements. In addition, members of the 576th FLTS Top Hand program are conducting all missile crew duties for this launch.

The missile's single unarmed re-entry vehicle is expected to travel approximately 4,200 miles in about 30 minutes, hitting a pre-determined target at the Kwajalein Missile Range in the western chain of the Marshall Islands. This test continues a long tradition of ICBM test launches that serve to ensure a safe, secure and effective weapon system that is critical to continued global stability.

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