A spectacular light show from the test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled for early Tuesday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Officials say the point of these takeoffs is to check the effectiveness and accuracy of the weapon system. “While ICBM launches from Vandenberg almost seem routine, each one requires a tremendous amount of effort and absolute attention to detail in order to accurately assess the current performance and capability of the Nation’s fielded ICBM force and ensure public safety during the launch,” Col. Keith Balts said in a statement.


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