These are pictures of an ICBM test over the skies of the Pacific. These pictures were shot from the roof of an apartment building in Hollywood. (pictures courtesy Thomas Fulton)

click on pics to view larger image

The missile was an unarmed Minuteman III, launched from Vandenberg AFB about 7:30 p.m. PDT on September 19, 2002. Here is the press release from Vandenberg (

16 September 2002
Minuteman III Launch
VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic
missile is scheduled for launch from North Vandenberg Thursday evening as part
of the Force Development Evaluation Program. The six-hour launch window is from
6:01 p.m. to 12:01 a.m. PST. The purpose of the launch is to verify the continued
reliability and accuracy of the Minuteman III ICBM.

A task force from the 341st Space Wing, Malmstrom AFB, Mont., led by Lt. Col.
Ronald Samic, will launch the missile under the direction of the 576th Flight Test
Squadron here. Capt. Michael Calvaresi, 576th FLTS, is the launch director.

Col. Wayne Louis, 30th Space Wing vice commander, is the spacelift commander.
The mission director is Lt. Col. Michael Fortney, 576th FLTS commander. Members
of the 576th FLTS installed tracking, telemetry and command destruct systems
on the missile to collect data and meet safety requirements.

The missile's two unarmed re-entry vehicles are expected to travel approximately
4,200 miles in about 30 minutes, hitting pre-determined targets at the Kwajalein Missile Range in the western chain of the Marshall Islands. The nation's ICBMs are
a key component of global stability - a safe, secure and affordable weapon system
that delivers deterrence.

NOTE TO EDITORS: All media wishing to attend the on-base launch viewing
opportunity must be credentialed by 30th Space Wing Public Affairs. Media
members who intend to cover this event must call Senior Airman Brian Hill at (805) 606-3595, no later than noon Wednesday and arrive at the Main
Gate Visitor's Center no later than 5:15 p.m. Thursday.

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