Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Utility Navigation Skip to Top Navigation
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

The Minuteman Takes Flight

ICBM flight testing builds confidence.
December 1, 2016
The Minuteman Takes Flight

Stages of a Minuteman III launch.


  • Managing Editor
  • Clay Dillingham
  • Email
Buried 80 feet into ground, each silo is covered with a massive, 100-ton concrete and steel blast door that is blown violently open amidst a cloud of smoke and fire as the missile takes flight.

Once airborne, the 80,000-pound missile uses stages during which parts are dropped to shed excess weight and to accelerate to high velocities 700 miles above earth’s surface. Traveling at 15,000 miles per hour, the weapon can reach a target on the other side of the world in about half an hour.



Visit Blogger Join Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter See our Flickr Photos Watch Our YouTube Videos Find Us on LinkedIn Find Us on iTunesFind Us on GooglePlayFind Us on Instagram