ST. GEORGE – White Sands Missile Range conducted a missile test today producing a contrail visible from as far away as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.
According to the public Affairs Office for the White Sands Missile Range, the test of the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 or PAC-3 missile was conducted using a Juno missile as a target. The Juno was launched from Fort Wingate near Gallup N.M., and flew to White Sands Missile Range to be intercepted by the PAC-3.
The sunlight lit up the contrail from the Juno creating a light show.
The Juno performed as expected. This was the fourteenth time a large ballistic target missile has been fired from Fort Wingate since 1998. The contrail has not always been visible from so far away depending upon the time of day and atmospheric conditions.
Range personnel coordinated the test with FAA and other authorities to ensure that the test was conducted safely. The White Sands work force is experienced in conducting complex missile testing.
White Sands Missile Range is member of the Army Test and Evaluation Command and is a premiere test location for the Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as foreign and civilian customers.