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The Region

June 26, 1987

An unarmed Minuteman 3 missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base failed to reach its target in the South Pacific and plunged into the ocean, Air Force officials said. The 60-foot, long-range intercontinental ballistic missile, carrying three dummy warheads, was "well into" its flight when it malfunctioned, Sgt. Michael Addison said. The Minuteman, which has a range of more than 7,000 miles, was aimed at the Kwajalein Missile Range, about 4,200 miles southwest of Southern California. But "the flight ended before the missile reached its target," Addison said. "It fell into the ocean." The three-stage, solid-fuel missile, built by Boeing, was destroyed by onboard safety equipment.

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