Vandenberg AFB plans Minuteman 3 test Wednesday

By the Associated Press | June 22, 2011 | 3:29 AM EDT

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled for an early morning test launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The weapon with its lone re-entry vehicle is set to blast out of an underground silo on North Base at 3 a.m. Wednesday. The team has until 9 a.m. to get the missile off the ground.

The military will track the re-entry vehicle as it travels some 4,200 miles to a target in the Kwajalein Atoll (KWAH'-juh-len A'-tawl) in the central Pacific Ocean.

Officials say the weapon was pulled from its silo near Minot Air Force Base, N.D., for the test.

Vandenberg regularly tests ICBMs to collect data on the weapons' accuracy and reliability.

This is one of two Minuteman missile tests planned in June and July at Vandenberg.