A test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, is scheduled to take place from Vandenberg Air Force Base in the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 1.
The operational test launch is planned for a window between 1:16 and 7:16 a.m. from northern VAFB. The purpose of the test, according to Air Force Global Strike Command, is to “validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system.”
The Minuteman III missile system is the only ground-based nuclear weapon system utilized by the U.S.
The most recent unarmed Minuteman III test from VAFB occurred Feb. 5. A pair of ground-based interceptors were launched from the base on March 25 as part of a "successful" test of the U.S. missile defense system, according to the Missile Defense Agency.