Missile launches from Vandenberg in fiery, early-morning spectacle

Another Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base early Thursday morning, marking the second missile launch in May.

The launch happened at 12:40 a.m. Pacific time, according to U.S. Air Force officials.

Vandenberg first announced the test on Tuesday.

The Air Force base, located near Lompoc, conducted a “milestone” missile defense test in March in which the U.S. Missile Defense Agency fired interceptor missiles from it to hit an unarmed ICBM. The test was meant to practice how well the U.S. military could respond in the event of a missile being shot from another country like North Korea or Iran.

Missile launches are typically visible from much of the Central Coast, including San Luis Obispo County.

The test launch checks the effectiveness and accuracy of the nation’s defense systems, according to a Vandenberg news release.

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