NEAR LOMPOC (CBSLA) – Southern Californians up late may have seen a yellow streak shooting across the night sky early Thursday morning.
An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force base near Lompoc in Santa Barbara County at 12:27 a.m.
The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday morning, but was delayed due to weather.
The test launch is done in order to demonstrate the nation’s “nuclear deterrence forces are safe, secure, effective and ready to defend the United States,” Ron Cortopassi, 30th Space Wing executive director, said in a statement.
The last Minuteman III test missile launch out of Vandenberg occurred on Sept. 2.
According to Air Force Global Strike Command, launch calendars are established three to five years in advance, and planning for the launches begin anywhere from 6 months to a year out from the launch date.