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Abort! Missile test flight from Central Coast ends with flight crew blowing up missile

A Minuteman III missile test launched from Vandenber Space Force Base in 2020.
Senior Airman Clayton Wear
U.S. Air Force
A successful 2020 Minuteman III missile test launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in 2020.

Air Force says Minuteman III flight from Vandenberg Space Force base was terminated seven minutes after launch due to some type of a flight anomaly.

A test launch of a missile from the Central Coast ended with the flight team blowing it up over the Pacific Ocean, because of what they call a mission “anomaly”.

The Air Force launched a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from the base at 11:59 Tuesday night. An Air Force spokesman told KCLU News the flight was terminated seven minutes later, at 12:06 a.m. Wednesday.

The flight team blew up the missile because of what’s described as an “anomaly.” Because it happened seven minutes after liftoff, the missile was well away from the coast, and over the Pacific.

Minuteman III’s are launched from the base several times a year, to test the readiness of the equipment, and launch crews. They carry dummy payloads as they fly more than 4000 miles to a test range in the South Pacific.

The Air Force formed a team to investigate and identify what went wrong with the test flight.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.