(FoxNews.com) - An unarmed Minuteman 3 nuclear missile was shot into the California night sky Thursday amid tensions with North Korea and Russia.
The missile was fired at 11:01 p.m. off the California coastline and was carrying a payload of test instruments. It was aimed toward the waters of the Kwajalein Atoll, an island chain about 2,500 miles southwest of Honolulu.
Col. Craig Ramsey, commander of the 576th Flight test Squadron, said the re-entry vehicle that carries the missile’s payload reached its target 30 minutes after the launch.
This was the second missile test the Air Force conducted this month in a series designed to confirm the reliability of the Cold War-era missile and all its components. The Minuteman 3, first deployed in 1970, has long exceeded its original 10-year lifespan. It is so old that vital parts are no longer in production.
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