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Photos: Spectacular Military Missile Launches

Missile Contrail with Venus and Moon

Ryan Eiger

Stargazer Ryan Eiger captured this stunning photo of an Army missile contrail along with Venus and the moon over Scottsdale, Ariz., before dawn on Sept. 13, 2012. The contrail was caused by an Amry Juno rocket during a missile intercept test from Fort Wingate near Gallup, N.M.

Rocket Contrail over New Mexico

Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher

Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher caught the contrail from a missile launch from Fort Wingate, NM, at their location in Anthem, AZ, at the north edge of Phoenix, 5:41 am on September 13, 2012.

Rocket Contrail over New Mexico #2

Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher

Linda & Dr. Dick Buscher caught the contrail from a missile launch from Fort Wingate, NM, at their location in Anthem, AZ, at the north edge of Phoenix, 5:41 am on September 13, 2012.

THAAD Missile Test 2011

Missile Defense Agency/U.S. Department of Defense

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during the system's first operational test at 1:56 a.m. EDT Oct. 5, 2011, at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii. The test was conducted by the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency with the support of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. During the test the THAAD system engaged and simultaneously intercepted two ballistic missile targets.

THAAD Test Flight Launch

Missile Defense Agency/U.S. Department of Defense

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during the system's first operational test at 1:56 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time Oct. 5 at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii. The test was conducted by the Ballistic Missile Defense System Operational Test Agency with the support of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency. During the test the THAAD system engaged and simultaneously intercepted two ballistic missile targets.

Bizarre Sky Spiral Caused by Failed Missile

Dagfinn Rapp.

Norway residents got front-row seats to a bizarre light show: a giant spiral with a green-blue beam of light shooting from its center and lighting up the sky.

Experimental U.S. Missile Defense Satellites Pass Big Tests

U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor missile is launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility off the island of Kauai, Hawaii, during an intercept test, June 28, 2010.

Air Force Launches Minuteman 3 Missile in June 2011

U.S. Air Force photo/Joe Davila

A U.S. Air Force Minuteman 2 missile burns through the fog at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., after launching in a June 10, 2011 weapons test. While this test was successful, a later test on July 27, 2011 was not and the missile in that later flight was intentionally destroyed, Air Force officials said.

Blastoff for Air Force's 2nd X-37B Space Plane

Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying the Air Force's second X-37B robot space plane, the Orbital Test Vehicle 2 (OTV-2), launches from its Space Launch Complex-41 at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on March 5, 2011 at 5:46 p.m. EST.

U.S. Military Test Launches New Missile Interceptor

MDA

A Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptor.

Air Force Launches Ballistic Missile In Suborbital Test

USAF/Joe Davila

The U.S. Air Force test launched a Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile on June 30, 2010 at 3:40 a.m. EDT from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Full Story.

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