Minuteman III launch from Vandenberg AFB, September 7, 2005
(Download a higher resolution picture by clicking on any picture below.)
A Minuteman III missile was launched on a suborbital trajectory toward Kwajalein Atoll from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:53 A.M. on Wednesday, September 7, 2005.
The Air Force periodically launches Peacekeeper and Minuteman missiles to demonstrate that they still work. They select a missile at random and pull it out of its silo. They bring the missile and a regular missile crew to VAFB. The crew launches the missile toward the Reagan Test Site at Kwajalien.
This 178.4-second time exposure was taken with a Nikon D70s digital camera set to an effective film speed of ISO 320 with the 18mm lens aperture set to f3.5.
Following the separation of the first stage, it blinked as it tumbled end over end in a ballistic trajectary below the ascending upper stages.
The launch left an expanding cloud of exhaust products.
More Vandenberg AFB launch photography.
Link to the Federation of American Scientists' Minuteman missile page.
Link to the Federation of American Scientists' National Missile Defense page.
Link to the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) National Missile Defense (NMD) page.
Link to the Strategic Air Command's Minuteman Missile page.
The home page of the 30th Space Wing
Brian Webb's Space Archive Page provides launch schedule and ham radio information.
Send a message to Brian .