U.S. Test Fires Missile Off Calif. Coast; Can Carry Nuclear Weapons, Travel 8,000 Miles

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Each U.S. missile is capable of traveling more than 8,000 miles.

“These Minuteman launches are essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities,” Colonel John Moss, the commander of the 30th Space Wing, told the Associated Press.

Air Force officials said the test had been planned for months.

The missiles, which carried no payload, splashed down in the Pacific near Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, about 2,500 miles south of Hawaii.

The missile was a Minuteman III.

The U.S. has about 450 such missiles.

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