VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — A Minuteman 1 missile with a secret, experimental re-entry vehicle on top went out of control and was destroyed after launch early today, the Air Force reported.
In a statement limited to the barest details, Capt. John Sullivan of the Space Missile Test Organization at Vandenberg described the destroyed missile as a modified Minuteman I, which was launched at 12:35 a.m.
The booster was destroyed by the test range safety officer when the missile went out of control, Sullivan said.
He did not disclose the trajectory, altitude or location of the Minuteman when it was destroyed.
Re-entry vehicles on military missiles are normally used to deploy nuclear warheads.