• Published
  • By SLD 30 Public Affairs
  • Space Launch Delta 30

An operational test launch of an unarmed Mk21A reentry vehicle was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base aboard a Minotaur I rocket, Monday, June 17, at 11:01 p.m. PT.

The Mk21A RV is currently under contract with Lockheed Martin for its engineering and manufacturing development phase. After attaining full operational capability, the Mk21A RV will be integrated on the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The Mk21A program is currently in early development and overseen by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.

The Minotaur family of launch vehicles is based on government-furnished Peacekeeper and Minuteman rocket motors that Northrop Grumman has integrated with modern flight proven avionics and other subsystems to produce cost-effective, responsive launch vehicles to support missile defense testing and other suborbital applications.

"Test launches like these are crucial for protecting our nation's defense," stated Col. Mark Shoemaker, Commander of Space Launch Delta 30. "As global threats evolve, it's essential to support these launches and maintain access to space to safeguard our nation."

Vandenberg Space Force Base is the United States Space Force’s West Coast Spaceport and Test Range, and one of only two high-capacity spaceports for the United States. Vandenberg plays a pivotal role in maintaining our national security posture by leveraging advanced space launch and test range capabilities to deter and defend against emerging threats in the global theatre.

For questions regarding the launch window or Vandenberg Space Force Base range operations, contact SLD 30 Public Affairs at 805-606-3595 or

For queries regarding the Mk21A or its test mission, contact AFNWC Public Affairs at 505-553-3558 or

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