Minuteman III launch from Vandenberg AFB, September 14, 2005
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A Minuteman III missile was launched on a suborbital trajectory toward Kwajalein Atoll from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:01 A.M. on Wednesday, September 14, 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.
The launch was triggered by an Air Force launch team aboard a Boeing E-6 Mercury. The ascent of the missile was monitored by a crew aboard HALO II, a modified Gulfstream IIB with a large infra-red telescope. This 203.7-second time exposure was taken with a Nikon D70s digital camera set to an effective film speed of ISO 200 with the 18mm lens aperture set to f3.5.
In the opposite direction, the lights of Goleta glow on the south coast. 68.4-second time exposure at 18mm focal length and ISO 200.
80.7-second time exposure at 70mm focal length and ISO 200.
Fog pours over Refugio Pass as the waxing gibbous moon illuminates the Santa Barbara Channel. 85.7-second time exposure at 18mm focal length and ISO 200.
57.7-second time exposure at 27mm focal length and ISO 1000.
The descending fog lifts over the marine layer near the bottom of the slope. 39.1-second time exposure at 55 mm focal length and ISO 1000.
More Vandenberg AFB launch photography.
Link to the L-3 Aeromet web page about HALO II.
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 .