Courtesy Photo

Missile Defense Test Deemed a Success

Vandenberg Air Force Base officials reported that the kill-vehicle launched Sunday from the Lompoc base successfully struck a long-range ballistic missile launched from the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific as part of an ongoing missile defense program that’s generated significant controversy over the high cost and high number of failures. It was the first successful launch for Raytheon’s most recent kill-vehicle design and the first successful launch after three successive misses.

The missile defense program was established to prevent other nations, such as North Korea, from launching missile strikes on the United States by shooting incoming attacks out of the sky. Given that the kill-vehicle travels at approximating four miles a second, this approach has proved extremely challenging.

Base commanders and Raytheon officials expressed relief and pride that Sunday’s test succeeded, noting that the kill-vehicle’s ability to differentiate the target from decoys has improved. Of the past 16 tests, only eight have succeeded, each at a cost of $200 million. The program was started by the George W. Bush White House; today, the Obama administration is hoping to expand the number of launch vehicles equipped to take a kill-vehicle to space from 30 to 44.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

SEC Sues Goleta Breast Implant Company’s CEO for Fraud

Hani Zeini allegedly concealed information and misled investors.

Goleta Woman Arrested in Hope Ranch for Prowling

Christen Aceves was also wanted for unlawful possession of a bird of prey.

Man Talked Down from Goleta Overpass

The 48-year-old had tied himself to a sign support.

Get Oil Out Founder and Dolphin Sculptor Bud Bottoms Dies

He was a true man-about-town and an engaged public citizen.

Plastic Bags? Throw ’Em Away

Santa Barbara County makes recycling rules tougher in face of exacting standards.