Spectators watch as a Ground-Based Interceptor is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, Calif., on Jan. 26. (Daniel Dreifuss / The Santa Maria Times via AP)
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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The U.S. military says it has successfully launched a missile interceptor rocket on a test flight from the central California coast.
The Missile Defense Agency says the Ground-Based Interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base Saturday afternoon and executed a series of pre-planned maneuvers when it reached space.
The test did not involve a target, though the program is developing a system effective against ballistic missiles.
The agency says it appears all components of the missile performed as designed. It will use the test results to improve the nation's ballistic missile defense system.
It was the first flight test for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system since flight testing was halted after a failed intercept in a December 2010 test.