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042617 minuteman launch (copy)

In this April 26, 2017, file photo, an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base as part of an operational test. A similar test is planned for late Tuesday night through Wednesday morning.

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning as part of an operational test, according to the 30th Space Wing.

The launch is scheduled for a window between 11:01 p.m. Tuesday and 6:01 a.m. Wednesday from north VAFB. The test launch was announced by 30th Space Wing public affairs Monday afternoon.

Operational test launches of Minuteman III missiles, according to the Air Force, provide valuable data to planners and holistically test the system, procedures and airmen, from the initial mission planning to the final weapons employment phases.

"These tests are not related to any real-world events," read a portion of the release from the 30th Space Wing, which noted that the Air Force typically conducts four such tests per year and that the planning for each test takes about six to 12 months.

The most recent test launch involving an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, or ICBM, from VAFB occurred July 31.

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