US launches unarmed ballistic missile

On Wednesday, the U.S. Air Force tested an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in suborbit (Sept. 7).

At 1:13 a.m., the ICBM was launched by Air Force Global Strike Command from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

"Validate and verify the safety, security, effectiveness and readiness of the weapon system" was the stated purpose of the test.

According to a Space Force video(opens in new tab) released after the test, the Minuteman III ICBM carried three unidentified test reentry vehicles.

The payload of an ICBM that reenters the atmosphere after being launched is known as a reentry vehicle.

Usually a nuclear warhead, although as they continue to be developed, hypersonic glide vehicles will undoubtedly become common reentry vehicles.

The rocket covered 6,759 kilometres (4,200 miles) at 15,000 mph hypersonic speeds.

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