The Space Force and Air Force “safely terminated” an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, after a test launch experienced an unknown issue, the military said.
A test launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California went awry “due to an anomaly” early Wednesday morning, according to a press release from the service. The cause of what went wrong with the nuclear-capable missile is still being investigated.
“An anomaly is any unexpected event during the test,” Air Force Global Strike Command said in a press release. “A Launch Analysis Group is forming to investigate the cause.”
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The Minuteman III, made by Boeing, is an intercontinental ballistic missile fired from land that forms one leg of the U.S. nuclear triad — the combination of land, sea and air weapons that can deliver a nuclear payload. It has a range of more than 6,000 miles and can travel at speeds of up to 15,000 miles per hour.
There are 400 of them spread out among missile fields at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming; Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana; and Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.
The intercontinental ballistic missiles were first put into service in the 1970s, with an original planned lifespan of 10 years. The Minuteman III has been in the service now for more than 50 years. The Air…