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Missile Test Flight From Central Coast Ends With Destruct Order From Flight Crew

A test flight of an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile from the Central Coast early Tuesday morning ended when a problem prompted the launch team to blow up the rocket.

Air Force officials say the Minuteman III launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base was terminated over the Pacific Ocean, after what they called an unexpected anomaly was discovered.

The rocket was blown up at 4:42 a.m., but there’s no word on how far into the flight the missile was when the action was taken. The liftoff window was 12:01 to 6:01 Tuesday morning. It was headed from the base to a test range in the South Pacific.

An investigation team has been formed to investigate the cause of the anomaly. The flight was the latest in an ongoing series of test launches from the base to test equipment and crew preparedness.

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. 
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