Vandenberg Air Force Base Launches Missile To Study Plume

An unarmed Intercontinental Ballistic Missile blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base this morning.

The test was designed to give researchers a chance to use an orbiting satellite to study the missile's exhaust plume in flight.

The modified Minuteman 2 weapon shot out of its underground silo at 1:31 a.m.

The Missile Defense Agency says it will use data collected by the military's Near Field Infrared Experiment satellite to update models and simulations it uses to develop missile technology.

The test was the first to two planned this year.

The second is planned in October.

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