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

Vandenberg to Launch Minuteman III

Vandenberg AFB News Release

2005 September 2

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled to launch from North Vandenberg Wednesday morning. The six-hour launch window is from 1:01 to 7:01 a.m. PST*.

The mission tests the reliability and accuracy of the weapon system. The launch is a team effort by members of the 30th Space Wing and the 576th Flight Test Squadron here and the 91st Space Wing from Minot AFB, N.D. The task force from the 91th Space Wing from Minot AFB, N.D., led by Capt. Carl Bottolfson, will launch the missile under the direction of the 576 FLTS. Capt. Rod Smith, 576 FLTS, is the launch director.

The mission director is Lt. Col. Stephen Davis, 576 FLTS commander. The spacelift commander is Col. Jack Weinstein, 30th Space Wing commander.

Members of the 576 FLTS performed 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.

The missiles’ two unarmed re-entry vehicles are expected to travel approximately 4,200 miles in about 30 minutes, hitting pre-determined targets at the Ronald Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the western chain of the Marshall Islands.

Designated Glory Trip 187-1, this operational test launch continues a long history of Western Range launches used to verify, validate and improve the capability of the nation’s ICBM force - a key component to continued global stability.

* To eliminate any confusion, be advised that the launch is scheduled for Wednesday, September 7, between 01:01 to 07:01 PDT - Webmaster

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