The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


As David Byrne put it, "There is interceptor missile . . . at the bottom of the ocean!"
An experimental interceptor missile failed to get off the ground in a test of the U.S. national missile defense system early Wednesday, raising new doubts about prospects for the imminent activation of the system.

In the test, a target missile, a simulated ICBM with a mock warhead, was launched without problem from Kodiak, Alaska, at 12:45 a.m. EST, a statement from the Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency said.

However, 16 minutes later, an "unknown anomaly" led to an automatic shutdown of the interceptor missile shortly before it was to launch from the Ronald Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean.

The target missile crashed into the ocean.

The agency gave no other details and said program officials will review pre-launch data to determine the cause for the shutdown. Most missile launching systems are designed to shut down automatically as a safety feature, but it was unclear what tripped the system, officials said.
Well if only we put a homing beacon on the simulated ICBM, just like the terrorists and despots of the future will...


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