A missile defense rocket successfully aced its test-launch from a military base in Central California, authorities say.
The long-range interceptor blasted off Thursday from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The launch was testing thrusters on the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, which is designed to crash into enemy missiles and destroy them.
Officials say a target representing a missile was launched from an Air Force plane over the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii. The Vandenberg interceptor released the kill vehicle, which was maneuvered with thrusters until its fuel was used up. It purposely didn’t intercept the target.
The test involved the ground-based midcourse defense system.
The missile shield system is supposed to protect America from attacks, but in the past has failed to hit targets in many tests.
The Associated Press contributed to this article